Is a data journalist one who unearths the data, who finds the insights in the data, who finds the right way to visually communicate the data? The answer is, of course, all three. But let’s tease them apart and look at each separately. [Read more…] about What is Data Journalism?
Data Journalism is one of the ways many people are exposed to data visualization now. These articles cover different topics and thoughts in this area.
It’s so simple it feels entirely trivial: bars in a bar chart pointing down instead of up. But the effect can be striking. And it’s not as obvious when to show downward-pointing bars as it might seem. [Read more…] about When Bars Point Down
When I was in Portland over the holidays a few weeks ago, I noticed a visualization in the local newspaper, The Oregonian. I had never heard of that before, nor of Mark Friesen, who created it. Wondering how many visualizations I might be missing, I decided to build a website that would collect them all: newsvis.org. [Read more…] about NewsVis.org, The Directory of News Visualizations
There are many differences between data analysis and presentation. One that is often overlooked is the need to focus a story to just the essential points, and not overload it with unnecessary detail. Minard’s famous map is a great example of reduction to the bare minimum. [Read more…] about Storytelling and Focus
There is a lot of confusion about storytelling and what tells a story. I have argued previously that stories do not tell themselves. Rather, we tell the stories given raw materials. Some of these materials lend themselves better to ad-hoc storytelling, so we tend to say that they actually tell the story, when it’s really us who do it. [Read more…] about Storytelling: Minard vs. Nightingale
One of the many things Malofiej 20 made me wonder about is how we present data and what we expect from such a presentation. Very often, we essentially narrate the process of discovery, but is that really the best way? And how much data do we need to show when making a point? Just because we start out with lots of data does not mean we really need to show it all. [Read more…] about How Much Data Do You Really Need?
How does the New York Times Graphics Department produce the fantastic work that wins so many awards? To get a taste of the secret sauce, all you need to do is track down their Twitter accounts and blogs, where they openly share sketches and talk about process. Here is a guide. [Read more…] about A Glimpse Into the New York Times Graphics Department
How do you engage people with data? How do you make them care and pay attention and remember anything about a particular piece of data? One way is dressing the data up as an information graphic. Another might be to get people to play a little game with the data. Nick Diakopoulos and colleagues have built a fascinating research prototype of what this might look like. [Read more…] about Playable Data
As newspaper graphics go, scatterplots are a fairly advanced technique. They tend to show a reasonably large amount of data as single points, and they require the reader to have an idea what to look for. Most newspapers never bother using scatterplots for that reason, which is really too bad. With some explanation, a scatterplot can be a very effective means of displaying data, and in particular to allow the user to drill into the data a little bit.