Flowing Data Visualize this: News sources

Flowing Data have announced a new Visualise This challenge. Here’s my response:

You will notice that it is similar to the original. Why? As Nathan says in the challenge, the chart isn’t too bad. I chose to clear things up in order to emphasise the story. The original was too busy and the rise of the internet at the expense of other media was concealed by noise. Breaking the chart into small multiples in this case wouldn’t show this message as clearly as overlayed lines would. Making a stacked line/area chart also wouldn’t work because respondents were allowed to choose multiple answers.

Update: I added a baseline tab so that you can see the change of sources relative to a single one in response to Matt’s comment. I hoped this would emphasise Internet’s growth relative to the others. I;m not convinced this is better than the first worksheet. Why? Because the viewer has to do a little more thinking in order to understand the story.

How to make bubble charts

Flowing data posted nice and clear instructions on how to make bubble charts using R. It’s a great post, and I thought it would be a good thing to show how to create the same chart in Tableau. Readers can compare and contrast the ease of each. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Here’s the end result using Tableau:

To create this:

Step 0: Download Tableau Public

This example uses Tableau, so you’ll need that.

Step 1: Download the data file

It’s here: http://datasets.flowingdata.com/crimeRatesByState2008.csv

Step 2: Connect Tableau to the data

Step 3: Build your bubble chart

You only need five Dimensions/Measures on the worksheet to make the view look the same as the one on Flowing Data. I added Colour to State in order to create the highlighting option in the dashboard above. Is this cheating – it’s 6 drag and drops – is that 6 separate steps? 🙂

Step 4: Clean up!

I prettified it a bit by changing the Mark borders and putting it into a well-proportioned dashboard.

The whole process took me 15 minutes. Once your up to speed with Tableau, you can get to work at lightning speeds.

Flowing Data’s post started off by mentioning Hans Rosling and the Gapminder project. Watch this space for more on Gapminder and Tableau….

Wikipedia banner tests: a response to Information is Beautiful

One can always expect visually attractive stuff from David McCandless on his Information is Beautiful blog. Sometimes though, the visual displays potentially confuse viewers. Today’s great post on Wikipedia Banner Tests is an example. Representing the size of donations using a square is pretty, for sure. However, we tend to perceive the relationship of one area to another pretty badly. A linear representation is more effective:

Think back to David’s orginal squares view – would you really have guessed that the Jimmy Appeal raised fifteen times much cash? If so, you’re one of the few – most people would have said it was around 8-10 times larger. The linear view above makes that difference much more clear.

There’s also some interactivity on my view – you can change the measures being displayed in order to explore the data a little more.


US Sexual Health and Behaviour Survey

Flowing Data laid down the challenge to visual the sexual health and behaviour dataset from Indiana University. Seemed like an interesting topic…. Here’s my attempt: