Data Stories I have a goal in life: To rid the world of bad PowerPoint slides. We’ve all sat through meetings, struggling to stay awake during presentations filled with cheesy stock images, confusing bar graphs, and pie chart after pie chart. This needn’t be so. At Google, I teach everyone from marketers to engineers some basic principles of data visualization that help them turn numbers into compelling visual stories. Presenting data creatively can make numbers seem more human and turn statistics into stories. Here are a few of the most resonant lessons that I teach in ‘Data Visualization 101’ at Google. Don’t be Misleading Context will have an impact on how people interpret the information you’re providing. Don’t be a Data Fashion Victim Just because your software has plenty of bells and whistles doesn’t mean they all have to be used. “Just because your software has plenty of bells and whistles doesn’t mean they all have to be used.” Highlight what’s Important Simple Beats Sexy Use Color Strategically
Strata Gems: Quick starts for charts We’re publishing a new Strata Gem each day all the way through to December 24. Yesterday’s Gem: Use Write your own visualizations. If you’re trying to summarize your data, you’ll likely show it in a chart. This probably isn’t news to you. Excel: Chart Chooser Juice Analytics’ Chart Chooser is a chart-style recommendation engine. Going one step further than just recommendation, the chart chooser offers Excel and Powerpoint template files that you can alter and fill with your own data. Some of the 17 chart types available from Chart Chooser R: Advanced Charts If you’re using the R statistical computing package, many chart types become available to you. Initially reluctant to leave the familiarity of Excel and VBA, O’Day took the leap to learn R because of the availability of advanced chart types. The Web: Tableau Public Tableau is a leading visualization software package. Tableau’s public edition is available for free and public use. A screenshot from The Tale of 100 Entrepreneurs
How to make your infographics accessible and SEO friendly at the same time Infographics are everywhere. Some good - some bad. But most creators don't stop to think how to make sure search engines can understand their infographic - or how people who can't see pictures can consume them (maybe because they rely on screen readers or have chosen not to download images to their mobile phone). The trick to make infographics accessible and SEO friendly is to ensure: they're chopped into relevant sections (ie not one big image),text is text (you should be able to select it with a mouse)if anything has to be shown as an image, you set appropriate ALT text (the flipside of this is that, if the image doesn't add any information, you DON'T set ALT text - I'll explain this below.) Making an infographic accessible There's lots of infographics out there. Also I should point out that I'm a crap HTML coder so if anyone can improve on this, do let me know. Separate images and text As it stands, that bottom left bit is just part of an enormous image. What now? OK, you're thinking.
50 Must-Download Apps For Lifelong Learners Added by Jeff Dunn on 2012-08-13 Long after degrees have been conferred and careers have been launched, many folks just can’t seem to quit school. For them, life provides an overstuffed cornucopia of educational opportunities that don’t necessarily require hefty loans and navigating different professorial strategies. Those with a lust for learning who happen to also enjoy testing the limits of what the iPad offers definitely don’t have to worry about finding resources to pique their fancy. History and Geography World Atlas HD : iPad users can download this stunning, popular digital atlas by the National Geographic Society and educate themselves about the planet’s physical and cultural properties and relationships. Language, Reading, and Writing Open Source and General Learning TED : Venerable open source institution TED makes its impressive suite of video lectures on every subject imaginable available on the iPad for maximum infotainment. Reference Science and Math Comments are closed.
An Illustrated Tour of the Pie Chart Study Results – eagereyes In two papers, Drew Skau and I recently showed that our idea of how we read pie charts is wrong, that donut charts are no worse than pie charts, and a few more things. Here is a detailed walk-through of the results of the three studies we conducted for this purpose. Let’s go on a little journey through some real data and do a little science together! For my talk at Information+, I redid the figures we had used in the EuroVis pie chart papers, both for the papers themselves and for the presentations. The result is much clearer, I think. I figured I’d share them here since they give a nice walk-through of the study results using the real data, but without too much detail. How the Charts Work What I’m about to show are the results of three studies, each of which had about 80–100 participants who each answered about 60 questions (for details see the papers). The charts are all based on the difference between what people thought they were seeing and what we were showing them – called error.
Fell in Love with Data — Data Visualization Evangelism VisualEyes dataist blog: An inspiring case for journalists learning to code | Dan Nguyen pronounced fast is danwin About a year ago I threw up a long, rambling guide hoping to teach non-programming journalists some practical code. Looking back at it, it seems inadequate. Actually, I misspoke, I haven’t looked back at it because I’m sure I’ll just spend the next few hours cringing. For example, what a dumb idea it was to put everything from “What is HTML” to actual Ruby scraping code all in a gigantic, badly formatted post. The series of articles have gotten a fair number of hits but I don’t know how many people were able to stumble through it. Mapping of Ratata blogging network by Jens Finnäs of dataist.wordpress.com I hope other non-coders who are still intimidated by the thought of learning programming are inspired by Finnas’s example. ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs project originated in part from this Pfizer-scraping lesson I added on to my programming tutorial: I needed a timely example of public data that wasn’t as useful as it should be. In fact, just knowing to avoid taking notes like this:
Brain Games for Adults Brain games are fun to play at gatherings, meetings, kitty parties or on outings. Most of the brain games usually include trick questions and brain teasers, or some very hard riddles. The following are some brain games that you can play in both small and large groups. These games test some of the capabilities of the brain like concentration, memorization and flexibility. The Stroop Test The Stroop test is a brilliant way to test a person's mental flexibility and concentration. Analogy This game is a favorite among kids, but can be played by adults too. The Face of the Penny This is a very nice brain game for adults. Concentrating on Numbers Among all the brain games for adults, this one is rather popular. If you are in a small group then it would be appropriate to play some nice math riddles and puzzles.
The Golden Age of Statistical Graphics Michael Friendly. The Golden Age of Statistical Graphics. Ststistical Science, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 502–535, 2008. Download: from web | via doi Statistical graphics and data visualization have long histories, but their modern forms began only in the early 1800s. Keywords: data visualization; statistics; history; smoothing; thematic cartography; Francis Galton; Charles Joseph Minard; Florence Nightingale; Francis Walker;
Color Theory Quick Reference Poster It’s always good to be able to articulate design choices to your clients; why you put something where, why you chose the color scheme you did, etc. This knowledge is one of the biggest differences between a designer and a non-designer. But there is a lot to remember when it comes to the realm of graphic design – so much so that it’s pretty much impossible to remember everything from all the theories of graphic design, to web design best practices to Photoshop keyboard shortcuts. With that in mind, I decided it would be useful to have all of the basics of color theory contained in one place – specifically, a cool infographic-esque poster. This way, I can quickly reference things that may have slipped to the back of my mind since design school. *Edit: we now have an Elements of Design Quick Reference Poster as well as a Principles of Design Quick Reference poster too! The idea is that this graphic can be either printed out or used as a desktop wallpaper. The graphic contains info on: