Makeover Monday: Data journalism isn’t just about design, it’s about honesty

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After a bit of a hiatus, I decided to try my hand at another of Andy and Andy’s Makeover Monday challenges. This week’s view comes from UK business insider. The headline: American women work way more than their European counterparts. I think the problem with this viz isn’t the chart type. A stacked bar is actually a fine way to represent distribution for a data set like this one which buckets “hours worked” into 5 categories. You can clearly see that the percentage of people who work more than 40 hours are higher in the US versus the other countries shown, and higher than the average. But here lies the problem: not very many countries are shown! The author handpicks Japan, France, Germany, Italy, and the UK as countries for comparison, but I see no reason why those countries should be a representative sample of all of Europe, as the title of the article indicates. As a journalist, I think it’s one’s responsibility to make sure that your claims are backed by data, and not just the part of the data that you think supports your argument. When I looked at the data I saw something different. Sure, there were […]

Viz Wiz – The Finals

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At our company meeting in Seattle, the four Viz Wiz finalists met to present their final data visualizations in front of an audience of over a thousand. It was a great even and Wilson and I always love seeing how excited people at Tableau are about the skills and expertise made possible by our technology. Here’s a brief overview of the entries with a few comments on each (click each name to open the viz in a new window). Tony Kao Tony did a very thorough analysis of the data set. I think his first viz is fantastic – something I haven’t seen before that really tells a story. Could fit right into an article about gender representation in film. The rest of the views are analytical and deep. If there’s a flaw in this presentation is that it loses cohesiveness. I’m still learning about the best use of Story Points, but I find that they work best when there are only a few different visualizations where the pagination can point out progress or discrepancies between the views, and not as well when each visualization adds a new point. Simply leaving one viz and navigating to another causes me to […]