Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Visualising the Shelter Problem in the US

Source: Monday Morning Viz
Authors: Steven Carter

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • Nice use of color to show a diverging scale
  • Using the dot on the bar is a nice trick to show comparisons between two measures
  • Using the dots and bars allows for comparing either within a single city or across multiple cities
  • Good use of a help icon to aid in understanding
  • Nice titles that explain each viz
  • Nice use of tooltips
  • Simple layout and design
Recommended Enhancements:
  • The shelter rates are unnecessarily precise. Rounding to the whole number would be fine and cleaner.
  • I would either use a bar in bar or a line instead of the blue area chart. I find the area chart distracting.
  • Reduce the saturation of the outline of the dots on the map. When they are black, they tend to block other dots behind them.
  • I don’t understand the purpose of the county-level shading on the map. I would remove it since the story is more about the dots on the map.
  • Add the option to sort by either metric on the bar/dot plot chart
  • Remove the axis title on the trend chart since it only applies to one metric. Otherwise it should be changed to indicate that it’s scaled to both metrics.
  • I’d like to see a view that shows the % difference between the two metrics by year to see if shelter rates are improving.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Who has the Best Pitching Staff? ERA vs. FIP in MLB

Source: Viz of the Day
Authors: Owen Watson

Click the image for the interactive version.

Best Practices:
  • This is one of the most interesting ways I’ve seen to compare two metrics. It makes the magnitude of the variances very obvious.
  • Easy to compare across teams or stats within a single team
  • Nice use of colour
  • Good example of when to NOT start an axis at zero
  • Proper number formatting for these stats
Recommended Enhancements:
  • Too many gridlines breaking up the viz
  • Could use a better title so that it can stand better on its own
  • Team names don’t need to be bold (personal preference)
  • I’d like to be able to sort by either stat; this only allows sorting by ERA
  • Somehow call out the teams that have a higher ERA than FIP since that is significant
  • Include a defintion for the stats so that people not familiar with baseball can understand it easier
  • Make the viz slightly taller so that all teams fit in a single view

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