March 29, 2011

Data Reveals Stories: Part Three | Boxes

This is one of a six-part series on how to harness data to reveal stories. It represents notes and follow-on links. If you want to take part in an exciting workshop to get your hands on real life data sets, create your own visualisations and learn how to share them, you can join me in Boston at Building Learning Communities for my pre-conference workshop this summer, or ask for it as one of our masterclass sessions. Many of the examples cited are from the information visualiser's Bible, Information is Beautiful: buy the book (in the UK | in the USA) or visit the blog.

Boxes and Bar Charts
Potentially the most boring of all graphing, these can be really entertaining, shocking or thought-provoking. Or all three. Seek the greatest differences in data to make maximum impact. Seek to overlay boxes where relativity is important, or to lay them side to side where you want to compare like for like.
Example:
Clay Shirky's Cognitive Surplus explained in a picture
Debtris UK or Debtris USA versions:


Proportionate Circles
Lining up or superimposing circles of proportionately varying size helps emphasise the parts that make up any whole.
Examples:
How you spend your life and The shocking truth of conviction rates for rape in England and Wales (overlapping circles): Information is Beautiful pp.196-199.
The Sunday Times' News roundup of 2010:

Sunday Times news visualisation

Snake Oil? Are natural remedies all they're cracked up to be?

Snake Oil?


Gapminder
This is a free-to-download application that amasses some of the most authoritative (but dense) information in the world, and helps you spot trends amongst countries and within continents. Look at how Hans Rosling manipulates data to tell stories, in the BBC Clip below, for example, and then set students the challenge of finding their own 'shocking truths' within the available axis:

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

Recent Posts

    Archives

    More...