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Posts Tagged ‘bar charts’

UK’s Daily Mirror Blogs Infographics

December 27, 2013 Leave a comment

Ampp3d — launched in November — makes “journalism more accessible through data visualisations.”

The Ampp3d  blog  focuses on the Daily Mirror’s “charts, graphs, facts, figures and … infographics” by collecting and presenting in one place the data visualizations published in the Mirror. Ammp3d demonstrates that infographics do not need to be elaborate to add impact to a story and satisfy readers. It is one of many examples of journalists using graphics to appeal to younger audiences (and help with the ever-important subscriber figures).

Mirror-Tax graph

Here’s everything you need to know about Beyoncé, in numbers.

Overstacking Bars

Mint goes too far with a stacked column chart

Mint-IncomeDistributionStackBar

This stacked column chart is certainly pretty, but falls down on usability. It does not make it easy to compare income levels across states. Reading across the bottom it works for the lowest income group and reading across the top it works for the highest. For the five groups in between it does not work at all because there is no common point of reference. It is very difficult to compare an inner bar to any other inner bar.

This infographic would be less pretty, but far more useful if each group was displayed in its own row with a common zero line. Then the eye could easily scan across to spot the highs and lows.

The lesson is that a stacked column or bar chart can be useful at times, but only when a small number of comparisons are made or when the differences among the bars is very evident. Otherwise, don’t do it!

The Best American Infographics 2013

Book highlights the finest infographics from the past year.

Displays an incredible variety of high-quality graphics ranging from highly technical to whimsical. The book demonstrates many styles and many ways to visually communicate data and ideas. An invaluable source of inspiration.

bestamericaninfographics bestamericaninfographics4

The Power of Showing Not Telling

The new book “An Illustrated Guide to Income in the United States” presents a comprehensive collection of infographics, maps and charts looking at the history of incomes and occupations in the United States.

Data can be a powerful persuader. Instead of pages and pages of text spoon feeding the reader with conclusions, this book presents a large dataset in a format that empowers the reader to study the data itself to draw their own independent conclusions.

IncomeGuide_2013_page 34

New distribution technology is empowering too… the entire book can be read online for free. It can also be purchased as a PDF for $15, paperback + PDF for $42.50, or hardback + pdf for $60.

Spiral Charts

Scientific American plots hugely dissimilar values.

When some values in a bar graph are very large and others are much smaller it is difficult to discern the differences. All of the small values produce bars that are barely visible so there is no way to see the differences among the small bars. The spiral chart solves this by bending the bars. The high values spiral around and around. Differences in the low value bars are still clearly visible.

SciAm-SpiralChart

Killer Graphic

Scientific American graphic succinctly drives home the point

It may be a cliche that a picture is worth 1000 words, but this graphic certainly proves the point. Three bar graphs showing how life expectancy is altered by our “good” and “bad” habits.

SciAmer-minutes-of-life

Quarters Don’t Compare

Calendar quarters are not really comparable

Fortune’s CNN Money takes a closer look at Mac sales and discovers that what appears to be a decline is actually the opposite  Wall Street forecasters are projecting a quarter-on-quarter decline in Mac sales for Q1 2013. This looks bad for Apple, but a closer look reveals that it really isn’t so.

MacUnitSalesByQuarters

Taking these numbers at face value does not take into account that Q1 last year had 14 weeks, not the usual 13. Adjusting for the number of weeks in the quarter produces a increase in sales from 5 to 10 percent — a big difference in conclusion.

So when comparing quarters, be sure that you are comparing apples to apples.