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Holographic GapMinding

November 30, 2010

Hans Rosling -- whose lectures are always fascinating -- is hosting a new documentary for the BBC called "The Joy of Stats." A 5 minute clip has been released on YouTube showing a faux-holographic version of Hans' GapMinder visualization package. The graphic overlay is very well done and lets Hans describe the data in an […]

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Irrational exuberance, indeed

June 23, 2010

Here's an amusing chart showing the percent of stocks that sell-side analysts have rated "sells", on average: There's a million junk-chart bloggers who will tell you how much is wrong with this graph (myself included) - starting with the left hand scale, which should go up to 10% rather than 100%. But in a rare […]

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A Data Visualization Manifesto

May 31, 2010

Words of wisdom from Andrew Gelman: What harm is done, if any, by having ambiguous labels, uninformative orderings of variables, inconsistent scaling of axes, and all the rest? From a psychological or graphical perception perspective, maybe these create no problem at all. Perhaps such glitches (from my perspective) are either irrelevant to the general message […]

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Overcharting: airfare edition

November 28, 2009

Nate Silver writes about the dropping cost of air fares - yes, you read that correctly - over at Five Thirty Eight. His writing, as always, is excellent - I only want to point out a chart he uses and how it can be dangerous to draw conclusions at a glance (or, if you prefer, […]

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Pie chart fail

November 27, 2009

Via FlowingData, I found this amusing pie chart from a local Fox News broadcast: The survey plainly allowed people to give more than one answer, resulting in responses that were not mutually exclusive. It's tiresome but bears repeating: pie charts are only suited to data which adds up to 100% (and then, only if there […]

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Radial clustering

September 14, 2009

Finally, a radial visualization which serves a purpose rather than just looking cool. Getting Genetics Done has a tutorial on using clustering functions in R. In it, they show how this this analysis: is much better represented like this: There's nothing wrong with making a chart which looks good - in fact it's encouraged - so long as […]

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How to fix a broken pie chart

September 8, 2009 has a helpful step-by-step on how to turn this (from a Mashable post): into this: Of course, the motivation is worth more than the mechanics.

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Twitterverse demographics

August 28, 2009

I spoke too soon - another post from ReadWriteWeb manages to frustrate yet again. In an article claiming that teenage use of Twitter is on the rise, they present this chart: Let's do what RWW did not and actually think about what this graph is showing. For each age group, their use of Twitter is […]

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Monday light reading: Stevens' power law

August 24, 2009

A post on Junk Charts sent me reading about Stevens' power law, which supplies a quantification of a problem I've discussed before: the danger of representing single-dimensional data with two-dimensional graphics. Stevens' law measures the amount by which humans over- or under-perceive a stimulus, relative to its actual intensity. For example, the coefficient for "visual […]

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The 100 users of Twitter

July 31, 2009

An interesting visualization of Twitter as 100 people is a good take on a popular infographic meme, but reveals a few inconvenient truths about these sorts of images. Firstly, although I am (not so) secretly pleased to see this illustration of Twitter's non-inclusive communicative nature let's not forget that Twitter, like so many other social […]

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Misreading misleading charts: entrepreneur edition

June 18, 2009

Paul Kedrosky writes about a study on the rate of entrepreneurship among various age groups, which includes the following piece of junk (ch)art: Why is this chart 3D? It contains information in only two spatial dimensions (time and rate), with a third dimension coded by color. To make the chart itself is a purely superfluous […]

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Misreading misleading charts: VIX edition

June 16, 2009

Get your tin foil hats back out! Zero Hedge can't seem to keep their manipulation theories under control (I addressed one here in one of TGR's most popular posts) and today's example is to egregious to pass up. In this post, Zero Hedge reviews ground breaking "research" from Innovative Quant Solutions "on the very relevant topic […]

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Truth in advertising?

June 15, 2009

I find this graph very interesting, not just because of any implied political statements, but for how it highlights the absurdity of economic forecasting and the potentially misguided trust we place in such numbers. The blue lines were circulated by Obama's economic team when they were pitching the stimulus bill in order to illustrate its […]

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Illustrating the importance of data visualization

June 12, 2009

Andrew Gelman discusses research on attitudes toward gay marriage, by state, and notes this graph in particular, which shows the change in opinion over the last 15 years: Critically, he points out that the states which experienced the greatest change in attitude were the ones that already were most receptive. A naive analysis of the […]

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Critiquing the Crimson

June 9, 2009

The Harvard Crimson has published its annual senior survey, which is making headlines in part because very few seniors are going into finance. Selected results were presented in an interesting visualization (the image below links to a full size pdf): Now that my brother has graduated after successfully steering the Crimson's business operations to one […]

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Breaking down labor mobility

June 7, 2009

Great graphic from the NYT (click to zoom): (via LL)

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Dead shoots?

May 22, 2009

Happily, I've only used the term "green shoots" one time in the brief history of TGR, and then only sarcastically in the title of this cartoon (which I stand by, as this post should make evident). The term has always struck me as ridiculous, and not solely because it was first uttered at a time […]

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On graphing horse races

May 8, 2009

In response to Andrew Gelman's call for interesting visualizations of the Kentucky Derby, Megan Pledger created the following graph: I think it's especially interesting because the data is fictional, based on a few simple rules to simulate horse behavior (that's right - this is just like a single realization of a Monte Carlo process!). Andrew […]

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Presidents vs Pirates

April 15, 2009

Two excellent graphs making the rounds - the first showing Obama the Pirate-Slayer: And the second with historical context (that being the First and Second Barbary Wars):  

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The graph is half full

March 31, 2009

The Big Picture has a post which borrows two graphs from Credit Suisse that are meant to illustrate the performance of the S&P 500 in the 100 days following a "major trough."  I re-borrow them here: It looks like the top graph represents a collection of bear market bottoms, which are easily identifiable by the […]

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