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Data Chomp 03

What makes a good data visualization?



  • Positives
    • Makes something potentially complex become clear
    • Intuitive – readers can understand it in seconds
    • The symmetry and colour choices make it pleasing to the eye and encourage viewing (this could have easily become a technicolor mess)
  • Insights
    • Informs the reader –  what might be lacking in their data viz, and what to fix
    • Surprising how many data visualisations we see that do not tick all 4 boxes (me included!)
    • Most infographics are useless (information + visual form)
  • Suggestions
    • Potentially make more interactive e.g. Hover over each section to get more details and possible a thumbnail example



Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait


  • Positives
    • Humans don’t process large numbers well. This overcomes that issue, instead of just writing 183,000 birds site each year due to pesticides in the US
    • A quick and effective way to convey the scale of the impact of the problem
  • Insights
    • How many birds die to pesticides per year in the US!
  • Suggestions
    • This is primarily a work of art, so not fair to fully judge it on being a data visualisation
    • But if I did, I would simply put the description of what the birds represent and the numbers at the top – otherwise we couldn’t know how many birds are there in the canvas

London Underground commuter squeeze


  • Positives
    • Eyes drawn to the right parts of the visualisation by use of colour hue and intensity
    • Additional text labels and borders enhance the insights and ease of use
    • Clear and succinct information at tip of viz to help readers understand what they are seeing below
  • Insights
    • The congestion on the London underground is getting more intense and spending across more time slots as time passes
    • I was justified in getting to work at 7am and returning home at 4pm to miss the worsening rush hours
  • Suggestions
    • Ability to filter by tube station. Enable user to spot trends to have a better commute
    • Include a capacity % metric. The busier times will accommodate more passengers, so the increase in commuters might not be as bad as it seems, and visa versa for the off peak times



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