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  1. Worth 1,000 Words How to use information graphics to make data meaningful National Association for Career and Technical Education InformationMay 17, 2012 Rhonda Welfarerhonda.welfare@dpi.nc.gov

  2. Visualization • Using graphic images to tell a story with data

  3. Goal of information graphics • Readable • Understandable • Usable Every artistic decision made with the needs of readers in mind.

  4. “Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time, with the least amount of ink in the smallest amount of space.” Edward TufteThe Visual Display of Quantitative Information

  5. Why use information graphics? • Helps the reader see patterns and relationships • Reinforces information • Efficient use of reader time • Communicates complex information clearly

  6. Getting started • Ask what story you want to tell • Think character development

  7. Design considerations • Explain encodings (legend) • Label axes if needed • Get the math right • Edit unnecessary words and digits • Graphic should be able to stand alone • Include the source • Consider the audience NC CTE Analysis & Reporting System, NCDPI 2012

  8. PROOFRED PROOFREED PROOF X X

  9. Organize data • Spreadsheet • Assign record number • Use unique identifier • Find problems with data • Relevant • Accurate • Realistically reported • Check for missing data • Not misleading • Identify projections vs. real data • Identify contributing factors

  10. What software to use? WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU • Examples • Out of the box • Excel • Google Spreadsheets • Some assembly required • Java • Apex • R • Illustration tools • Adobe Illustrator • Freehand

  11. Types of graphics • Text driven • Timeline • Can be tied to a series of historic events • Tables • When numbers themselves are important • Fact boxes • To emphasize

  12. Categorical data (proportional) • Pie charts • Small number of values • Sort from greatest to least • Must add up to 100% • Indicate what “the whole” represents • Proportions and design must be accurate • Use of color NC CTE Analysis & Reporting System, NCDPI 2012

  13. Categorical data (proportional) • Donut chart • Very few values • Stacked bar • Instead of multiple pie charts • Combination • Call out area of interest Total 804,850 NC CTE Analysis & Reporting System, NCDPI 2012 Breakdown is approximate

  14. Categorical data (not proportional) • Bar graph • Either horizontal or vertical • X iscategory • Y is number or percent NC CTE Analysis & Reporting System, NCDPI 2012

  15. Time series (cross section) • What are you looking for? • Trends over time • Bar graph • Y scale • X time • Use of color NC CTE Analysis & Reporting System, NCDPI 2012

  16. Time series (cross section) • Stacked bar • Only if values are meaningful • Scatterplot • Y scale • X time • Use grid to make it easier to read NC CTE Analysis & Reporting System, NCDPI 2012

  17. Time series (continuous measure) • What are you looking for? • Changes over time • Line graph (fever chart) • Shows how a single value changes across time NC CTE Analysis & Reporting System, NCDPI 2012

  18. Multiple variables NC CTE Enrollment Trends • What are you looking for? • Correlation • Relationships • Scatterplot • Bubble chart • Distribution/histogram NC CTE Analysis & Reporting System, NCDPI 2012

  19. Design considerations • Label each data point • Sans serif font • Legend and labels 10 pt (print), 14 pt (presentation) • Headlines 18 pt (print), 24 pt bold (presentation) • When should you hire someone to do it for you? • When you don’t have time to do it right • When your ideas are greater than your skills • When you don’t have any ideas

  20. PROOFRED PROOFREED PROOF X X

  21. Data can be fun! • http://graphjam.memebase.com/Using charts and graphs to explore popular culture • http://blog.okcupid.comQuantitative representation of tweets • http://www.jir.comThe Journal of Irreproducible Results

  22. Where to find data • Your reports • Performance indicators • Enrollment • Financial data • Other sources of data • www.census.govThe Census Bureau • Data.gov and numbrary.comCatalogs of government data • Nces.ed.govNational Center for Education Statistics

  23. Where to learn more • Wong, Dona M. (2010). Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don’ts of Presenting Data, Facts and Figures. • Harris, Robert L. (2000) Information Graphics: A comprehensive Illustrated Reference • Klanten, R., Ehmann, S., and Schulze, F. (2011). Visual storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language. • Yau, Nathan. (2011). Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics. Flowingdata.com • George-Palilonis, Jennifer (2008). A Practical Guide to Graphics Reporting: Information Graphics for Print, Web & Broadcast. • Tufte, Edward (2011). The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.

  24. PROOFRED PROOFREED PROOF X X