Author Archives: Michael

I focus on technology marketing in emerging markets, specifically Latin America, Middle East, and Africa. Any opinions or thoughts expressed here are my own and not those of my employer or organizations I belong to.

Chart of the Week: Gun Regulation by State

The UK Guardian news­pa­per recently pub­lished an inter­ac­tive ring dia­gram show­ing gun reg­u­la­tion by US states. It’s an attrac­tive dia­gram but makes so many ele­men­tary mis­takes in chart­ing that it fails to sum­ma­rize the data in a mean­ing­ful way. Analy­sis: If the graph makes a sin­gle point, it’s that all states reg­u­late whether a weapon […]

Chart of the week: Population Pyramids, Vases and Wedges

Pop­u­la­tion pyra­mids show pop­u­la­tion data by gen­der and age group. They are effec­tive in show­ing changes over time. This chart of Japan demo­graph­ics through 2050 appeared in The Econ­o­mist: This shows three pyra­mids: Male on left, right hand side females from 1950, 2005, and 2050. (2050 is pro­jec­tion based on cur­rent trends). From 1950 to […]

Featured Chart: Tokyo Metro Train Departures by Week

Info­graphic at Ginza Sta­tion, Tokyo on the Hibya Line. Left hand side shows week­day depar­tures by hour (5am through 12 mid­night) by minute. Right hand side shows Sat­ur­day and Hol­i­day depar­tures. It’s an effec­tive graphic that also shows that week­days have more fre­quent ser­vice, espe­cially in the morn­ings between 8-​9am, and it tapers off after […]

Grasping data through physical models

Is it eas­ier to glean insights from data using a phys­i­cal model? Most of the advances in tech­nol­ogy (data visu­al­iza­tion, chart­ing, inter­ac­tive graph­ics) have made it much eas­ier to get insights using on-​screen imag­ing. By and large they have replaced phys­i­cal con­struc­tion and draw­ing of charts with rulers, com­passes, and inks. But what if we […]

Using Flow Maps to show derivative products

Flow maps show branches of data which form part of a whole and are often used to show deriv­a­tive prod­ucts made from a sin­gle source. These were quite pop­u­lar in the early 20th Cen­tury to show ship­ping traf­fic from ports. In this exam­ple it shows the com­po­nents that con­tribute to the 3M stock price. Post-​its […]

Chart of the Week: Timeline+Segmentation+ Scatterplot

Information-​dense charts show mul­ti­ple rela­tion­ships in data in a sin­gle, chart. They take more time to read/​review, but pro­vide deeper insights. This week’s exam­ple from R.W Brun­skill’Illus­trated Hand­book of Ver­nac­u­lar Archi­tec­ture shows the evo­lu­tion of “ver­nac­u­lar archi­tec­ture”. Ver­nac­u­lar archi­tec­ture ” will have been designed by an ama­teur, prob­a­bly of the occu­pier of the intended building […]

your.Flowing Data: Capturing your life data

New web ser­vice: your.flowingdata enables you to cap­ture events and activ­i­ties in your life, track and visu­al­ize them. The goal is to under­stand life choices bet­ter. It’s an exper­i­men­tal project from Nathan Yao who runs the excel­lent data visu­al­iza­tion site Flow­ing Data . Per­haps there will evolve into a jour­nal sim­i­lar to My Life in […]

Chart of the Week: Visualizing Multi-​select survey questions

Visu­al­iz­ing multi-​select sur­vey ques­tions (where the respon­dents can pro­vide mul­ti­ple answers) is chal­leng­ing to sum­ma­rize since pie charts and 100% bar charts do not work well since the parts can add up to be more than 100%. In the book Pic­tur­ing the Uncer­tain World: How to Under­stand, Com­mu­ni­cate, and Con­trol Uncer­tainty through Graph­i­cal Dis­play, the […]

Book of the Week: The Periodic Table: Its Story and Significance

Orga­niz­ing the chem­i­cal ele­ments into reg­u­larly recur­ing cat­e­gories was a major step in the his­tory of chemisty. The Russ­ian chemist Mendeleev played an impor­tant role in cre­at­ing the mod­ern peri­odic table, and look­ing at how he got there pro­vides some ideas for orga­niz­ing, clas­si­fy­ing, and ana­lyz­ing large data sets. First, the ideas around peri­od­ic­ity evolved […]

Area Proportional Venn Diagrams

Venn dia­grams are great for under­stand­ing how sets inter­sect and relate to each other, but most don’t indi­cate quan­tity. So if you have a set that shows pet own­er­ship (some own dogs, some dogs and fish,etc): With a pro­por­tional Venn dia­gram, you add the dimen­sion of size or count. For exam­ple, Peo­ple who own a […]