Analyzing and visualizing data
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Analyzing and Visualizing Data. Dr. Lam TECM 4180. What we’ll cover today. Importance of data Data , information, and knowledge Introduction to a variety of visualizations and their purposes Visualization exercise and brainstorm activity. Big Data.

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Analyzing and Visualizing Data

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Analyzing and visualizing data

Analyzing and Visualizing Data

Dr. Lam

TECM 4180


What we ll cover today

What we’ll cover today

  • Importance of data

  • Data, information, and knowledge

  • Introduction to a variety of visualizations and their purposes

  • Visualization exercise and brainstorm activity


Big data

Big Data

  • 90% of all data in the world was generated in the last 2 years

  • Climate information, social media, digital media, purchase transactions, cell phone GPS data, etc.

  • Big data can be useful or useless depending on what you do with it

  • The whole goal of data analysis/visualization is to turn data (raw numbers) into information and make business decisions based on this information


Data vs information vs knowledge

Data vs. Information vs. Knowledge

  • Data- raw numbers, words, etc. that lack context or meaning (e.g., 1.4%)

  • Information- application of structure to data to convey meaning (e.g., “unemployment is down 1.4% in the past 6 months)

  • Knowledge- understanding of a specific subject through experience or education (e.g., “a 1.4% decrease typically indicates sustainable growth)


Visually

Visually…


Example 1

Example 1

Raw Data

Yes, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, No, Yes, Yes

Responses to the market research question – “Would you buy brand x at price y?”

Context

Processing

Information

???

Creative commons attribution to FatMax 2007


Example 2

Example 2

Raw Data

42, 63, 96, 74, 56, 86

Jayne’s scores in the six AS/A2 ICT modules

Context

Processing

Information

???

Creative commons attribution to FatMax 2007


Example 3

Example 3

Raw Data

111192, 111234

The previous and current readings of a customer’s gas meter

Context

Processing

Information

???

Creative commons attribution to FatMax 2007


Knowledge examples

Knowledge Examples

  • Using the 3 previous examples:

    • A Marketing Manager could use this information to decide whether or not to raise or lower price y

    • Jayne’s teacher could analyzethe results to determine whether it would be worth her re-taking a module

    • Looking at the pattern of the customer’s previous gas bills may identify that the figure is abnormally low and they are fiddling the gas meter


A few notes about data information and knowledge

A few notes about data, information, and knowledge

  • Data (provided it hasn’t been manipulated, and has been collected correctly) is objective, and therefore, rarely “incorrect”

    • A yes is a yes, a no is a no

  • Information, however, is context dependent. This means it can sometimes be “wrong”

    • E.g., “Customers preferred Coke to Pepsi” (but when?)


Choosing the right graphics

Choosing the right graphics

  • Decide what your story (purpose) is

  • Select a graphic that most effectively represents this story to your user

  • Include the proper supplementary information


Tables

Tables

  • Purpose: To help your readers find data or other information rapidly

  • Tables can be useful to compare data, but may not be as effective as a more visual representation

  • Include a descriptive tie, row and column headings, unit of measure (if needed), and source


Line graph

Line Graph

  • Purpose: To show trends and cycles; To show the relationship between two or more variables

  • Tend to be good for interval level variables (numerical data)


What s wrong with this

What’s wrong with this?


What s wrong with this1

What’s wrong with this?


Bar graph

Bar Graph

  • Purpose: To help readers compare quantities and see trends at a glance

  • Tend to be good to display categorical variables (non-numerical)


What s wrong with this2

What’s wrong with this?


What s wrong with this3

What’s wrong with this?


Pie chart

Pie Chart

  • Purpose: To show the composition of a whole


What s wrong with this4

What’s wrong with this?


What s wrong with this5

What’s wrong with this?


What s wrong with this6

What’s wrong with this?


Pictographs

Pictographs

  • Purpose: To help readers compare quantities and see trends

  • Simply introduces an additional visual element to an already existing graph (bar, line, etc.)


Data visualization example

Data Visualization Example

  • http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/in-deeper-water/


What then is the purpose of data visualizations

What, then, is the purpose of data visualizations?

  • They provide context for user and transform data into information

  • Data visualizations tell a story

  • Stories can be simple or complex, but a visualization should tell the story better than the alternative

  • Help or lead people to make decisions based on the information


Exercise

Exercise

  • Find an existing Infographic

    • See http://www.informationisbeautiful.net for examples if you can’t find one

  • Identify what graphic or graphics are used (tables, bar charts, pie charts, etc.)

  • Identify the “story” in 1-2 sentences

  • Evaluate the infographic based on PARC principles

  • Identify the supplementary information provided (scale, labels, etc.)

  • Is this a positive or negative example of an inforgraphic?


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