Minimalist Basic Graphs

Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, a key book in the area of data visualization and something that is mentioned often in this course, introduced a minimalist theory of graphs. The book, which was minimalistic in both graphing and writing, introduced new varieties of basic graphs that reduced ink usage even further. Mr […]

Not Everything is Under “Insert”: Non-traditional Basic Graphs

Bar charts, line charts, and pie charts…oh, my. Even improving these charts can still lead to a pretty dull layout. Data visualization has gained in popularity, for the most, because eye-catching charts are, well, eye-catching. Usually a graphic designer or statistician needs to create something outside of the traditional basic plots, something outside your Excel’s […]

The Basics of a Basic Graph

Minimalism is the predominant art form in data visualization, especially for the basic graph. It may bore from Excel’s–the workhorse of almost all basic graphs–not-so-minimalist approach to basic graphs. Formally, minimalism is really meant to minimize chart junk. Glyphs, labels, colors, grid lines, axises are all elements of the graph that are meant to help […]

y-axis at Zero

If your graphing for my class, or just in general, start your axis at zero. It seems trivial, but can have a large impact on the graph. This was apparent in a recent presentation by the Iowa Legislative Services Agency on budget revenues for the current year. Below is a graph (blue line) showing state […]

I’m Not Familiar with Your Level

Ukraine’s President Yanukovych was caught up in a data visualization gaffe in front of a panel of economic experts. The chart he is holding reflects annual wages in Ukraine for the past six years. Notice the red bar is substantially lower than the prior years? It’s true salaries for Ukranians fell this past year, but […]

Taxonomy of Data Visualization

This post is a part of a collection for an upcoming course on Data Visualization at the 2010 Mid-America Association for Institutional Research annual meeting. These posts will be collected and placed on the course website. They may also be modified as the course develops to increase clarity. An Economist article quotes Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist, […]

Political Evolution

Politics can’t be captured as a one dimensional left-versus-right framework. So when one notes that young people are Democrates and older folk tend to be Republicans, it doesn’t capture the complete spectrum of political beliefs. Are 18 year-olds Democrats because they believe in individual liberty, such as abortion and drug possession, or because the favor restrictions […]

Preview: From Major to Targeted Clusters

The state of Iowa has established three targeted industry clusters: advanced manufacturing; bioscience; and information solutions. How have Iowa’s community colleges been supplying the industry? Above is an ideogram showing the path from program major (left) to targeted cluster (right). Obviously bioscience is being well-stocked, mostly from health science majors. I’m a bit surprised though […]