EppsNet Archive: Data Analysis

Tips for Effective Visualizations

I’m taking a Social Network Analysis class on Coursera . . . The first week’s lecture included advice from Edward Tufte on visualization and graphic design. I thought I’d already posted this a couple of years ago after attending a Tufte course, but after further review, I see that I haven’t, so here it is.   The success of a visualization is based on deep knowledge and care about the substance, and the quality, relevance, and integrity of the content. Tufte: Five Principles in the Theory of Graphic Design Above all else show the data. Maximize the data-ink ratio, within reason. Erase non-data ink, within reason. Erase redundant data-ink. Revise and edit. Read more →

Presenting Data and Information

Looking over my notes from an Edward Tufte course . . . Details lead to credibility. Every paragraph, chart, etc., should lend credibility to your argument and give your audience a reason to believe. Great design disappears; it gives itself up to the content. There’s no “right way” to display data. Try a few different approaches. Tables are often better than graphics. Don’t get it original, get it right. Don’t underestimate your audience. Don’t pander or patronize. Read more →

Fundamental Principles of Analytical Design

Looking over my notes from an Edward Tufte course . . . Show comparisons, contrasts, differences. Show causality, mechanism, explanation, systematic structure. Show multivariate data; that is, show more than 1 or 2 variables. Completely integrate words, numbers, images, diagrams. Thoroughly describe the evidence. Provide a detailed title, indicate the authors and sponsors, document the data sources, show complete measurement scales, point out relevant issues. Analytical presentations ultimately stand or fall depending on the quality, relevance, and integrity of their content. Read more →