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Visualising Data

Visualising Data
I’m posting this as a separate discussion thread but in follow up to the previous post about the Gun Crimes chart and the issue of confusion vs. deception. Taking a helicopter/big picture view of this discussion, Tom MacInnes has raised an excellent observation: So many people have reacted so badly to that chart, I’m actually quite shocked. Even with the designer’s own explanation (clearly showing the motive for the choice as being inspired by a design metaphor) there are still very angry and accusatory views out there, illustrated by this exchange: What is it that causes such an evident lack of trust? Is it the subject matter of gun crimes that is inherently so emotive that anything that remotely creates confusion or leads to misreading is playing with fire?

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What is the Balanced Scorecard? The balanced scorecard is a strategic planning and management system that is used extensively in business and industry, government, and nonprofit organizations worldwide to align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals. It was originated by Drs. Robert Kaplan (Harvard Business School) and David Norton as a performance measurement framework that added strategic non-financial performance measures to traditional financial metrics to give managers and executives a more 'balanced' view of organizational performance. The balanced scorecard has evolved from its early use as a simple performance measurement framework to a full strategic planning and management system. The “new” balanced scorecard transforms an organization’s strategic plan from an attractive but passive document into the "marching orders" for the organization on a daily basis.

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How to create a terrible visualization The last couple of visualizations I've done have been complete flops, at least in terms of traffic. A geeky post about my profiling habits got more visitors than a shiny 3D globe! It's never fun to confront it but as Bob Sutton says; 'failure sucks but instructs'. In that spirit, here's what I learned about how to create an unpopular visualization: Tell lots of stories at once Junk Charts Via Twitter, Bart S (@BartSchuijt) sent me to this TechCrunch article, which contains several uninspiring charts. The most disturbing one is this: There is a classic Tufte class here: only five numbers and yet the chart is so confusing. Links to Infographic Sites, Visual Designers and C - Cool Infographics Randy's infographic design consultancy to Visualize Business Intelligence Jacob O'Neal's site focused on designing animated GIF infographics Company that helps visualize business data Rose Zgodzinski's site to help client find visual solutions Consulting, Design and Social + PR Brian Cragin is an infographic designer in San Diego A masterfully constructed infographic campaign can work wonders for your business Dashboard Design: Data Driven helps your clients better understand and act upon your information Dejure Design provides interactive and visual design services to social justice organizations seeking to make their legal work more accessible and engaging. One of the UK’s leading providers of infographics and data visualisation for bloggers and businesses of all sizes An interactive design industry We make important data beautiful and easy to understand We specialize in transmitting messages in a clear, simple and attractive way.

Hello - visualisation Hello I’m David McCandless, a London-based author, writer and designer. I’ve written for The Guardian, Wired and others. I’m into anything strange and interesting. These days I’m an independent data journalist and information designer. A passion of mine is visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words. Beards: Too Hip For Their Own Good So, Brooks and UNSW’s Barnaby Dixson and Zinnia Janif decided to investigate why beard fashions come and go, and why there’s no one best facial hair pattern. They speculated that the diversity we see is due to “negative frequency dependence,” which just means that rare traits enjoy an advantage. Under NFD, good or bad depends on how common the gene is, Brooks explains.

An Information Visualization Exercise Want to play a game with The Dashboard Spy and Information Visualization expert Stephen Few? In his blog post, The Billion Pound-o-Gram Redesigned, he takes a stab at redesigning a pretty well known chart by David McCandless. Take a look at the original chart here: Here is how it appeared in Guardian.co.uk’s Information is Beautiful Friday:

Matthew Ericson – ericson.net The winners of the 34th Edition of the Best of News Design contest were released today, so I’ve updated my interactive crosstab of SND winners that lets you see at a glance which publications won awards in which categories. One particularly interesting thing to me: There were only 19 awards give in the information graphics categories — 17 for individual works and 2 for portfolios. That’s down from 97 just three years ago. Tools - Cool Infographics Adioma creates information graphics out of your textual data, using timelines, grids and icons. Create impressive charts from spreadsheets. Assemble into dashboards, embed in websites, or simply share a link.

22 free tools for data visualization and analysis You may not think you've got much in common with an investigative journalist or an academic medical researcher. But if you're trying to extract useful information from an ever-increasing inflow of data, you'll likely find visualization useful -- whether it's to show patterns or trends with graphics instead of mountains of text, or to try to explain complex issues to a nontechnical audience. There are many tools around to help turn data into graphics, but they can carry hefty price tags. The cost can make sense for professionals whose primary job is to find meaning in mountains of information, but you might not be able to justify such an expense if you or your users only need a graphics application from time to time, or if your budget for new tools is somewhat limited. If one of the higher-priced options is out of your reach, there are a surprising number of highly robust tools for data visualization and analysis that are available at no charge.

When People Say, ‘If You Don’t Like It Here, Go To Another Country,’ I’d Love To Offer This One President Olafur Grimsson: There are, of course many reasons why Iceland has recovered earlier and more effectively than any other European economy that suffered from the financial crisis. But there are two fundamental dimensions to how we did it differently from others. The first is, we did not follow the prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world, the so-called Washington consensus of the last thirty years. We for example, let the private banks fail and I have never understood why the banks are somehow treated like the holy churches of the modern economy, who are not allowed to fail. Secondly, we did not introduce the similar kind of austerity measures that had been almost mandatory in many other countries. We tried to protect the health service, the educational service, the welfare of those with the least income in our country.

Paper: Privacy-Preserving Visualization The point of visualization is usually to reveal as much of the structure of a dataset as possible. But what if the data is sensitive or proprietary, and the person doing the analysis is not supposed to be able to know everything about it? In a paper to be presented next week at InfoVis, my Ph.D. student Aritra Dasgupta and I describe the issues involved in privacy-preserving visualization, and propose a variation of parallel coordinates that controls the amount of information shown to the user. Naive Approaches As with everything else, there is an obvious solution to this problem that doesn’t work. We started out by looking at the data mining literature, where preserving privacy has been an issue for a while.

Latest As I mentioned in my previous post, our collaboration with the Sabeti Lab is aimed at creating new visual exploration tools to help researchers, doctors, and clinicians discover patterns and associations in large health and epidemiological datasets. These tools will be the first step in a hypothesis-generation process, combining intuition from expert users with visualization techniques and automated algorithms, allowing users to quickly test hypothesis that are “suggested” by the data itself. Researchers and doctors have a deep familiarity with their data and often can tell immediately when a new pattern is potentially interesting or simply the result of noise. Visualization techniques will help articulate their knowledge to a wider audience. This time around I will describe a quantitative measure of statistical independence called mutual information, which is used to rank associations in the data.

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