The brain finds it easier to process information if it is presented as an image rather than as words or numbers. The right hemisphere recognizes shapes and colors. The left side of the brain processes information in an analytical and sequential way and is more active when people read text or look at a spreadsheet. Looking through a numerical table takes a lot of mental effort, but information presented visually can be grasped in a few seconds. The brain identifies patterns, proportions and relationships to make instant subliminal comparisons.
Don’t forget to join Action for Children North Carolina on twitter: @ncchild.Post-presentation note to self: It appears some apps have difficulty reading QR codes when projected. In the future, bring along printed copies of just this slide to hand out to participants.
Ask participants what they are looking at and what they see.Can you guess the indicator? Children in Poverty, 2010
As participants what they are looking at what they see. Can you guess the indicator?
Edward Tufte is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Statistics, and Computer Science at Yale University. A champion of “intense clarity” and campaigner against “pitch culture,” Tufte has been appointed by President Obama to the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel to help make the Recovery.gov initiative accessible.This is not a call to make our data visualizations as complex and difficult to interpret as possible. In fact, the exact opposite is true. We want to make data visualizations that are simple and easy to interpret, but engaging enough that someone would want to spend time interacting with them.
Good data visualizations are the product of form and function.
Here’s what drives Action for Children’s emerging data visualization work. We’re still learning as we go along. We see data viz as another tool in our larger toolbox to engage stakeholders about issues impacting NC children. Ultimately, our goal is to inspire action.
Identifying the key characteristics of ourdata helps to further narrow select the appropriate strategy for visualization.
Here are examples: additive= income, non-additive=temperature
This chart is not comprehensive. Instead, it is intended to create a starting point for thinking about ways to visualize our data.
The categories local, web-based and open source are not exclusive. For example, I put Tableau Public under web-based b/c that’s where you save your open projects, but you work locally from the program installed on your machine.How would you like your visualization to perform?Static: “I want my visualization to sit and look pretty.” Example: maps for a print publicationAnimated: “I want my visualization to do a neat trick.” Example: The hover over tooltip feature in our budget treemap. (http://bit.ly/xVgjZd) Interactive: “I want users to be able to ask and answer questions using my visualization.” Interactive visualizations use tools like sort, filter etc. to engage viewers. Example: Our first Tableau viz. (http://bit.ly/wfRLwZ) Post-presentation noteVisual.ly is now available and it is being called a one-click infographic generator. The list of templates currently available is limited, but they will likely expand in the coming months. Check it out at http://bit.ly/z6VohH.
There are a number of visual ques that communicate information to viewers before they begin to consciously pay attention.
Hue or saturation…
… and shape all send signals that the brain is hardwired to interpret as visual information. The point here is we shouldbe intentional about the design elements we include in ourdata visualizations.
The first row represent visual elements the brain can quickly and easily interpret with accuracy. The second row represents visual elements the brain can interpret, but processing these comparative views takes more time, effort and the result is less accuracy. For example can you tell which column in the first panel is the thinnest? Are the two mid-size circles in the third panel the same size?
Check out Junk Charts(http://bit.ly/w1oKmH) for examples of how NOT to visualize your data. The blog is useful b/c it not only highlights what is wrong with the visualization, but it usually creates a revised version of the visualization that offers tips about how to more effectively visualize the data.
Thanks to Pam Brown from Tennesseefor sharing an alternative design for the final panel in this chart. She suggests removing the y-axis and adding data labels to further streamline the design.
People spend an average of 2.7 hours a day socializing on their mobile device. That’s over twice the amount of time we spend eating and almost one-third the amount of time we spend sleeping. (Pew)Over half of all internet searches were performed using mobile technology.91 percent of mobile internet access is to socialize, compared to 79% on desktops. (Pew) Why wouldn’t we make our visualizations mobile-ready and social- (network) friendly? Tip: steer away from flash if you can.
Al Passarella from Maryland mentioned tiny.cc as a useful alternative to bitly.com. Both services offer free analytics that can help you gather information about how well your content is resonating with your network.
This is the second data viz we produced. This falls into the animated category. We created a draft in Excel using the Sparklines plugin and then hard coded this into a page on our website using HTML5. We used Jquery for the tooltips. http://bit.ly/xVgjZd
This is a random aside, but thank you to Nancy Wagman from Massachusetts Budget and Policy for bringing up an interesting debate about the use of pie charts. Here’s a…thought-provoking(?)…video which provides add’l insight: http://bit.ly/wWKmF8. On the other side of the argument is this: http://bit.ly/xcXkst.
You can also reach mevia twitter @lailaabell.
2012 kids count data workshop
Yes, sweat the technique (And other things we’re learning about data viz) 2012 Data Workshop, SATX WHAT? ME WORRYfirstname.lastname@example.org
This presentation is available online at http://slidesha.re/zyvMI9Live #d8aviz @nckidscount to join the conversation Click here to view Roz Lemieux’s presentation
Handy-dandy data translations INDEPENDENT CONTINUOUS PROPORTIONS Bar Line Pie Charts Tables Stacked Area Tree Maps RELATIONSHIPS DISTRIBUTIONS TRENDS Scatterplots Column Line Bubble Charts Line Histogram Column Tables 2-axis Column #d8aviz @nckidscount
3. How would you like your data to perform? #d8aviz @nckidscount
Handy-dandy tools for visualization STATIC ANIMATED INTERACTIVE Local Excel Adobe Sparklines for Arcmaps Illustrator Excel (plugin) SAS/SPSS Web-based KIDS COUNT Infogr.am Tableau Public Data Center VIDI Many Eyes Open Source Open Office jQuery Google Vis (R) PSPP R QGIS #d8aviz @nckidscount
4. Consider other design elements. #d8aviz @nckidscount