Recreating graphs is a hobby of mine. It both helps me test the limits of JMP and sharpens my own data handling and visualization skills. This time, there was a third benefit: finding a significant data error in the published chart. I recently saw this interesting mosquito trends chart as […]
Both academically and professionally, more courses are being offered and developed to make more people comfortable with data, analysis and risk assessment. This necessitates some use of statistics, and software is pretty much a tool of the trade. Software — some new, some enhanced, some commercial and some open source […]
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I'll be leading a pre-conference tutorial on Graph Builder at this year's Discovery Summit conference in Cary. We'll start with the basics and then walk through more advanced ways to create effective visualizations. We did a similar tutorial this spring in Amsterdam, and materials from that course are posted in the JMP […]
When was the last time an informational graph or chart caught your eye? I mean, really caught your eye in a way that made you want to emblazon it on a greeting card or frame it for your office?
Me neither, until I had the opportunity to see some of the striking visuals and graphics by David McCandless and hear about the thought and passion that goes into his work as a data journalist. McCandless, the author of Knowledge is Beautiful, was a keynote speaker at SAS® Global Forum April 21, an event traditionally focused on the more technical and logistical aspects of analyzing data.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was moved by the informative digital images displayed across the conference venue jumbo screens the way some might be moved by a famous painting or sculpture. They revealed depth of understanding and presented analytical findings in such unexpected ways through story, shape, color and connection.
They were beautiful, indeed. But McCandless was quick to point out that it’s important that data visualization transcends aesthetic beauty and aids comprehension
That’s important when you’re faced with billions of numbers and facts. “Images allow us to see something important in a sea of data,” he said. “They tell a story.”
McCandless says the story often lies not in the data points themselves but in the gaps and modulations. “When you visualize data this way, you have a different relationship with it,” he said. “To be able to see it, see the data, helps us understand.”
Many in the analytics world have heard the phrase that data is the new oil, the new fuel to power and motivate business. But McCandless offered a twist on the modern day buzz phrase. “I like to think of data as the new soil,” he said. “Get in and get your hands dirty.” What is revealed could take root and flourish in ways you never imagined.
McCandless also encouraged attendees to give themselves the gift of time and spontaneity when digging into data. “Eject a little play and you may get unexpected results,” he said. He shared visuals created around his own areas of interest, images crafted just for fun, ranging from based-on-truth movies to more than 80 thousand horoscopes. Playing with data is a great way to learn techniques, stretch the imagination, and reveal more memorable ways of sharing business data.
The visual graphics you create may not find a spot above the living room couch, but if they hang in the minds of decision-makers and compel those who rely upon your analysis to change the way they see things, I think McCandless would agree: That is a beautiful thing.
View the full keynote presentation (and catch a glimpse of some of those stunning graphics) on the livestream archive.
In consulting with companies about building models with their data, I always talk to them about how their data may differentiate itself over time. For instance, are there seasons in which you might expect a rise in flu cases per day, or is there an economic environment in which you […]
The post Using data visualization to explore the eras of baseball appeared first on JMP Blog.
I used JMP to explore a recent FAA drone data set, inspired by a weekly data visualization challenge called 52Vis. The data set contains "reports of unmanned aircraft (UAS) sightings from pilots, citizens and law enforcement." I decided to focus on exploring the time data. I'll describe how I prepared the time […]
For thousands of years, the human experience has been recorded by storytellers. Stories tell the tale of our lives: beginning, middle and end. Stories document the triumphs and tragedies of heroes and villains and everything in between. Human beings are storytellers -- it's a trait as uniquely human as an […]
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then visualizing data in Hadoop would be like a billion. Over the last few years, organizations have rushed to leverage the low-cost distributed computing and storage power of Hadoop clusters. As Hadoop environments mature and move away from their initial focus of […]
Last week, I celebrated the progress we've seen in cleaning up wayward pie charts, and today I again use Pi Day as an opportunity to give the world #OneLessPie. Since I am at Discovery Summit Europe in Amsterdam this week, I chose a European topic for my makeover. I started […]
Pi Day (3/14) is next week, and once again, we are encouraging everyone in the data visualization community to use this day as motivation to help clean up ineffective pie charts within their organization or in public spaces like Wikipedia. I think there is still a mindset outside of our community that a pie […]