Highlighting data viz best practices around the web

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Longest Government Shutdowns in America

Source: New York Times

Best Practices:
  • Great use case for a unit chart (my screen shot seems to have messed that up a bit)
  • Using color to highlight the focus of the story
  • Sorting from largest to smallest
  • Including the start date for context
  • Including notes for clarification
  • Very easy to understand

Recommended Enhancements:
  • Needs a title
  • Were there any data sources?
  • Who's the author?

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

US Immigration by Origin at Birth

Source: National Geographic
Authors: Pedro M. Cruz and John Wihbey

Best Practices
  • Great use of explanation charts in the bottom left and right of the view
  • Visualisation uses a method that most people will be familiar with - ie looking at tree-rings to understand growth over time
  • Circular nature mimics the globe to show a logical direction to the immgrants birth origin.
  • Clear colour scheme but complementary colour palette that doesn't sway / demonstrate political opinion on migration
  • Great 'chunking' of data in decades (tree rings) and '00s of people as individual lines
Recommended Enhancements
  • Show a simple trend of immigration over time to suppliment overall migration patterns
  • Provide some absolute values to quantify migration numbers
  • Larger explainers as I needed to zoom in a lot on my browser to check what it was showing

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

LeBron James at 34

Firstly, I would like to thank Andy for letting me contribute to this blog. There are loads of great examples of fantastic data visualisation and I’m looking forward to introducing you to some more. Politics, business and sport will probably form most of my submissions as that is the media I consume but I’m looking forward to sharing what I find along with a critique of what works so well about the piece. 

So what is my first piece you ask? Well it goes to one of my great inspirations, Kirk Goldsberry. If you have ever heard me talk, you will have heard me talk about how Goldberry’s shot distribution chart made a huge impression on me and his new work does also. 

Source: Twitter

Best Practices

  • Clear BANs (Big A** Numbers) to act as the colour legend
  • BANs setting a strong context for shots taken at each franchise
  • Neon colours reminiscent of this sweet alternative jersey for Miami (one of James’ former teams) this year
(image from: www.themiamiheatstore.com)
  • Tiny data points add well to show true shot location in clusters
  • Title clear for fans to perceive what the chart shows
  • Career context set by text at the bottom of the view
  • Those long Lakers three points (beyond the long arc) are a current trending topic in the NBA and show up here
  • Team logos reduce the amount of text to read

Recommend Enhancements

  • Doesn’t show free throw location - after the controversy this year of James overstepping the free throw line this would be a fun addition
  • BANs don’t show percentage accuracy so each person has to think about overall accuracy
  • Would love interactive filters to flick between the teams
  • Ability to filter between made and missed shots

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