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Reaping Value Through Visual Analytics
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Thanks for the presentation slides, realy visual.

Statistician

Thank you for providing links to several open-source visualization tools.

Prospector

What do you recommend for interactive visualizations?

Prospector

Are there plugins for Excel involving data visualization?

Prospector

How does Tableau compare to Alteryx?

Prospector

excellent presentation!

Prospector

5. I have used tableau in my professional activities and it is indeed a great tool but most of the times it is required to understand & filter the data before actually using it. The issue of outlier-error that you have pointed out applies here as well.

Prospector

4. I assume that event flow programs would be very useful for process reengineering while time searcher programs for micro-analysis of time series.

Prospector

3. I find your quadrant analysis on slide 6 quite useful for defining the types of visualization as well as the respective needs of my audience in relation to my presentations.

Prospector

2. It would be interesting to see different types of scatterplots that are being (if they are) used from media such as news & financial channels.

Prospector

A couple of points from my side:

1. You mentioned that NYT use a lot of interactive, exploratory visual analytics. By browsing their website, I also see that these type of visuals record a high level of viewing as well. 

Prospector

Thank you Jonathan for an informative webinar!

Prospector

have good rest of week!

Prospector

thanks for the good info/ideas/chat

Prospector

good day to all

Prospector

Good info, thanks!

Prospector

(Off to demo PowerPivot and PowerView to my coworkers) :)

Prospector

And the same goes for all of other listeners and active participants. Loved the conversation and hearing from you call about your challenges and your recommendations for solving them.

Blogger

Have a good middle of the week to everyone!

Prospector

thanks jonathan and beth...great presentation!

Prospector

thanks, it is great!

Prospector

Thanks for doing such a fine job on such short notice, Jonathan!

Statistician

Thanks everyone! I hope this was helpful. Just remember your audience comes first!

Feel free to check out my site and email me if you have further questions or if you'd like me to come to your place to help talk more about data visualization and presentation techniques.

Good show, and thanks to all.
Prospector

@jchang, thanks for joining us!

Blogger

@jchang - that sounds very logical and is an idea I can definitely take to my collagues (I get to "book report" this little chat too lol)! I think I will be adding a web based visual API or linking capabilities to our requirements for our systems selection.

@Jonathan - Thanks for the information - it was very uncluttered :)

Prospector

thanks Jonathan & Beth - this was great.

Prospector

..

Just a final word to say thanks to Jonathan for a very enlightening presentation. Also thanks to Beth for moderating.

Blogger

Jonathan, I think it's a wrap! Any last thoughts to share? 

Blogger

Many thanks for the presentation and chat, again!

Prospector

..

As an example of data visualization via map format, here in Austin we're debating alternative corridors for urban rail. The following map book has various data visualizations of demographic onfo such as population, emplpoyment, pocert, auto ownership, etc. which is associated with the different candidate corridors:

http://www.connectcentraltexas.com/connect/sites/default/files/Central%20Corridor%20HCT%20Study%20Map%20Book%20130920v2.pdf

However, many of the projection in future years are being criticized, since projections are a function on assumptions (and the intentions of those who do the projecting). It's a GIGO problem...

 

Blogger

@Akyut - I'd tend to go for an in house web server accessed via single sign-in to your network.  it's relatively easy to set up, free (apache, anyone?) aside from a machine to run it and a resource to monitor it, and completely internal to the company.

Prospector

Folks, we've got Jonathan here for just a couple of more minutes. Any last questions you'd like to get in front of him before we close down the Q&A?

Blogger

@jchang - that is a good point. We have a engineering department that could, in theory, build out some visualization options. Based on your experience - focusing on the web-based publishing paradigms would be the way to go? Use the different tools and then tap into displaying them via a web-based application - even if that application is inhouse?

Prospector

@jchang Very, very true. I've seen a few places set up "secure" networks (ie, closed-access sites) to share their work and not distribute it to the wider public.

@ASykut Once I come up in the queue for upgrades :)

Statistician

@ASykut In my experience, a lot of people still actually like paper! But I also find that many people can fairly easily manipulate interactive Excel dashboards (with only a little coaching). Tableau visualizations are also fairly easy to use. The downside is that if you are using the public version of Tableau, the information is posted online, so you might not be able to use it for internal visualizations. 

when you are doing distribution (vs. accessing a common URL/sharepoint), you need some sort of enterprise push solution.  That's the one part where the free tools tend to fail because they're just not necessarily designed for that type of distro.  they tend to focus more on web-based publishing paradigms (which are more efficient, quite frankly).

Prospector

@Mflograsso - when you get the chance to check it out - do so! I think there may be a addin demo of it for 2010....

Prospector

@BethSchultz That's a good question. Aside from my own--of course those are fantastic!--I'd say there are some interesting projects coming out of the US Census Bureau.

..

Brth writes

==What's a data visualization without a little politicking mixed in.==

I will say data visualization using map formats is pretty straightforward and clear-cut. 

Blogger

@Jonathon - I will add those to the list.  Based on the need to use multiple tools, and the fact that clients are often looking for a weekly and daily dashboard showing this information - what are the more common distribution methods? I know, for example, that Sharepoint supports PowerView.  What are common options you all have run into?

Prospector

@aykc88 tableau maps are useful so long as you are careful.  and it's probably better to do your own geocoding when you use it, unless you're doing high level (major city/state) aggregations.

Prospector

@Asykut Unfortunately, I don't have PowerView.  I still have the previous version of Excel (2010).

Statistician

@Jonathan -- I would imagine it's gratifying to work with gov data, so often thought of as big and drury, shall I say, and turn it into something that people can easily understand. What are some of your favorite visualizations?

Blogger

Thank you Jonathan.

Prospector

@MFLoGrasso - have you used them on PowerView? It did it all intuitively with as you said, the same data source in the data model. I also like in power view how you can simply click on a category line for example and it will filter all of the charts in the same view to that line.

 

Prospector

@ASykut You might want to try TileMill or Tableau to create maps. TileMill requires a bit more up front learning--especially on converting the data--but it's very flexible and can output high resolution images.

@Lyndon_Henry, LOL. What's a data visualization without a little politicking mixed in.

Blogger

..

Beth asks

== sounds like you're introducing bias with color choice. How concerned are you about that?==

Keep in mind that a lot of work in public transportation and urban planning involves persuading the audience -- often, political leaders. Data visualization is an important tool. Need I say more? 

Blogger

@ASykut The best part is that as long as your Pivot Tables are coming from the same data source, you can apply the same Slicer to affect multiple Pivot Tables/Charts (right-click on the slicer then select PivotTable Connections).

Statistician

@Jonathan - I had low expectations and I think they more then delivered.  The only low point I have on it is their map. I love how easily I can map data, but it is very limited on how it maps data.  I am investigating an addin of PowerMap.  Heat maps and point maps are highly desired by our clientelle.

Prospector

@ASykut, you'll have to come back and tell us what you learn in your tool investigations!

Blogger

@MfloGrasso - Slicers ROCK! I added them on yesterday when I was creating a "dashboard" and did a little dance.

Prospector

@ASykut Interesting! I haven't actually used the new Excel, but am hearing some good things about the Powerview. In earlier versions of Excel, you can use the Action items in the Developer tab.

Thanks @Beth - I saw that one in the slide show and wrote it down as well!

 

Prospector

@ASykut If you're using Excel Pivot Tools, please do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the slicers.

Statistician

@Lyndon_Henry -- sounds like you're introducing bias with color choice. How concerned are you about that?

Blogger

@Jonathan - Awesome. I just tested out Excel Office 2013 PowerPivot and Powerview capabilities this past week as tools to present our analytics and BI data.  I found it works very well compared to some third party dashboards I have reviewed.  We are researching "dashboard" solutions and will add those you mentioned to our list!

Prospector

Jonathan writes

== There's really no sense using multiple colors in a simple column chart, especially because some colors (esp red) can be perceived as highlighting those series versus others. ==

I gotta admit I use red often to either indentify the "bad guy" in the data set, or to otherwise call attention to something I want to focus on...

Blogger

@alexb You're welcome! I hope this was helpful

@InsightsRUs There is one great way to use pie charts and that is to remember that the "part-to-whole" comparison is just that--compare single parts to the whole. So, next time, instead of a single pie chart with, say 7, slices, try 7 different pie charts with the one slice of interest in some color and the rest of the pie in a single (less pronounced) color.

@Asykut, you might also check out SAS Visual Analytics for SMBs (at least to play around with as see the potential). You can get some demos by clicking here.

Blogger

Thank you, Jonathan!

 

Prospector

I deal with map-related graphics a lot -- illustrating demographic data in a map format. Any tips, dos or don'ts etc. from your own experience?

Blogger

@Lyndon_Henry Yes, I prefer to use color as a way to help encode--or emphasize--particular points. There's really no sense using multiple colors in a simple column chart, especially because some colors (esp red) can be perceived as highlighting those series versus others. 

I think a breakthrough came recently, though, when I had been providing simple graph after simple graph after simple graph, and there finally came a request for some rather complex relationships to be summarized.  Since I leave my graphs pretty uncluttered in the first place, the addition of additional info on-screen was easier for my audience to navigate.

As an aside, it ended up being an Excel scatterplot with error bars, a line for the company-wide mean, and line's for segment means.

Statistician

@ASykut That's a great question. I think you can do a lot with Excel--which most everyone has--that most people don't realize (see some of my blog posts on AllAnalytics to see what I mean). Tableau is also a tool that can be used for both. Similarly, the programming language R is open source (ie, free) and can be used to create great graphics. The program Inkscape is basically the open source (free) version of Adobe Illustrator.

@Jonathan, it seems to me there could be considerable value in tools that auto-select the best way to visualize the data at hand. Would you agree?

Blogger

@Lyndon_Henry But the problem with adding labels is that it starts to clutter the graphic (especially if it's a slide in a presentation). More generally, an important question to ask is, "What is the purpose of this visualization?" You're having to add data labels to a 3D graph because the graph itself is an ineffective way to communicate information. Going to 2D creates a more effective graphic and thus promotes better understanding.

Seems to me data viz is most useful is showing relationships among different data groups and revealing data patterns. I do use color a lot because I think it makes the presentation more visually appealing, whereas monocolor would seem boring to me. But you seem to prefer monocolor unless there's a specific data-related reason for the color?

Blogger

@Jonathan - in your presentation you discussed audience. The difference between analyse and presentation. Do you find many tools that are affordable (I primarily work for non-profit organizations) that are strong on BOTH analysis and presentation?

Prospector

@MFLoGrasso Thanks! It can be hard to convince people to move away from the shiny things to graphics that do a better job effectively communicating information. Hang in there!

@Jonathan, I like the idea of using open source as much as the next guy. But at what point does it behoove an organization to think about investing in an enterprise-level tool? 

Blogger

thanks Jonathan.  I've been to Stephen Few's session and Edward Tufte's session but haven't found many others.

 

Prospector

@Jonathan - thanks. I think you are right - your simple graphics in this training were very compelling.  It may be a good counter point to include it in demos about say...dashboards.  a Why we product THIS (uncluttered) not THIS (cluttered).  THis has been one of our biggest sticking points! 

Prospector

@Jonathan -- visualization sounds like a good brown bag topic for companies!

Blogger

@jchang Otherwise, just start reading and creating. There's a full list of article and blogs and books on my reference page: http://policyviz.com/references/

I use 3D viz a lot because I think it makes the data presentation more visually appealing, and better remembered. To deal with the data problem I use data labels.

Blogger

MFLoGrasso -- glad we could help prove your sanity. 

Blogger

@jchang Well, the best place to get training is my website! :)

There are a few others out there conducting trainings, but they are far and few between: see visualisingdata.com; storytellingwithdata.com; and http://stephanieevergreen.com/; and perceptualedge.com

@Jonathan, do you think knowing the right way to present data visually takes a bit of intuition or a visual bent -- or can any analyst do it?

Blogger

I just want to say this has been an uplifting presentation for me, as I have been trying to convince people at my company of some of the items you mentioned here.  It's nice to know I'm not completely out of my mind.

Statistician

Seems there's lots of interesting on the training!

Blogger

@ASykut I think you can sell the charts by demonstrating that the 2D representation more accurately shows the data than the 3D. If that requires a quick training--for example, a single slide with both versions--then that might be worthwhile.

@ASykut, interesting question. Jonathan, what do you think? @ASykut earlier asked: Question: How would you phrase it to a client who thinks 3D graphics and picharts are neccesary.  How do you sell the simple charts? Do you give them a mini training session during your sales pitch?

 

Blogger

@Jonathan - what do you think is the best way to get training on proper data visualization?

Prospector

Hi everyone. Just catching up on the comments. If you have specific questions and I don't get to it, please repost.

Jonathan, again, thanks for the lecture -- great job, especially on such short notice. I know I have some questions and I'm sure audience does as well.

Blogger

I started working for TIBCO Spotfire in June; any thoughts on the company?

Prospector

Thank you Jonathan!  Great tips!  Much appreciated!

Statistician

Thanks for the presentation, I'm making sure you get the quote credit here: "It is not Excel's fault that you created a 3D pie-chart." So funny yet so true.. :)

Prospector

Question: How would you phrase it to a client who thinks 3D graphics and picharts are neccesary.  How do you sell the simple charts? Do you give them a mini training session during your sales pitch?

Prospector

Thanks for the talk Beth & Jonathan.

Prospector

I think it is important to mix it up when you have a big presentation.  No one wants to look at slide after slide of line charts or pie charts.  It's good to mix it up and make it interesting to the viwers.  I'm not a huge defender of pie charts but what I am trying to say is that I have seen them used very successfully in sales and marketing groups to show a non-complex situation in a quick, visual easy to remember way.

Statistician
The audio chat ended!
Prospector

Great talk, Jonathan!

Statistician

Thanks for the presentation!

Prospector

This may be the most important point of any summary of data...the audience.

Statistician

If I had SAS VA, I'd let you know. :)

Statistician

@beth - not necessarily.  you don't have to pay to get good tools.  R and Python are great examples.  And the new site Raw is looking promising.

Prospector

@InsightsRUs - I agree about your comment re:pie charts but the exact same thing could be done using a line chart.

Prospector

Free tools are good, but complementary to enterprise-level tools like SAS Visual Analytics, no?

Blogger

@Beth - that's a good question.  My company has TONS of analysts but very few of them are doing "analysiis" - most are doing reporting.  And even the ones doing "analysis" aren't doing visual analysis or worrying about how to properly present their reports.  We need more training but the value of this kind of thing is not necessarily seen immediately.

Prospector

Sorry Beth my reply was not to your question but to the two posts that needed more explanation on the use of pie charts.

Statistician

To Jonathan's point about "users taking care," as organizations move more into data visualization, does that require additional training for employees?

Blogger

LOL @ MFloGrasso!

Prospector

Jonathan: "It's not the fault of the tool.  It's the fault of the user."

My translation: Sometimes, the user is a tool.

Statistician

interesting question

Prospector

It depends on what type of data you're looking at.  Pie charts are very efficient, easy to grasp, quick visualizations for market share for example in markets where there are only a few players and their share is not similar.  If you are trying to show more complicated segmentation with small differences or ranking, of course you would use a different visualization.  It all depends on your purpose aa the presenter explained.  

Statistician

What tools do you folks use? 

Blogger

@jchang {fist bump}

Statistician

@InsightsRU - I echo @MFloGrasso's comments.

Pies are easy to manipulate for evil.

Prospector

@InsightsRUs I should extend that to say...to tell the story you want to tell that is not the actual story.

Statistician

@InsightsRUs I find them too easy to manipulate to tell the story you want to tell.

Statistician

3D views feel so unecessary, take up extra space and can sometimes make it harder to read the data set

Prospector

Maybe we should ask Microsoft to remove pie chart and 3-D capabilities from Excel. Hah!

Blogger

I think pie charts are great if you don't have too many segments that end up being similar in size.  When you have few segments and big differences they tell the story in a very efficient way.

Statistician

3D is also evil :)

Statistician

@jchang I am trying to wean them of that :)

Statistician

I find one of the difficulties is the end users only think the solution is effective if it has "pretty graphics". Part of my job as a BI Business Analyst is explaining why the Visual Analytics should be clear - why we are reducing clutter!

Prospector

@MFloGrasso - Yes but upper management loves the pie.

Prospector

MFloGrasso -- does that "reducing the noise" advice bother you, or do you agree?

Blogger

PIE CHARTS ARE EVIL!!!

Statistician

Jonathan, you are the second recent presenter I have heard that has discussed minimizing the noise in graphs (e.g. remove the y-axis)

Statistician

I use scatterplots all the time.  Not necessarily in the ways they were intended but scatterplots in Excel are a powerful tool for doing hidden magics.

Prospector

Reducing clutter can be a challenge when you have a very diverse audience and they all want to focus on different aspects.  Your right though, more simple charts are better than one slide that tries to show the whole story.

Statistician

You have to provide the actionable insight, whether it be C-level or front-line operations, but the C-level tend to want to get in, get the higlights, then get out; no time for what-if models in most cases. At least in my world.

Prospector

@Beth - absolutely.  It's too easy to get lost in the fancy stuff.  But look at Jonathan's slide 12 - very simple chart types but very powerful.  As opposed to MS's 3-D chart crap.

Prospector

Scatterplots -- do you guys use these much?

Blogger

With Jonathan talking about the challenges of creating good graphics, I have to wonder if too much capability in the wrote data visualizer's hands can go wrong very quickly!

Blogger

@jchang, that's the issue I face.  My direct supervisor part of the company's Senior Management team, so they rarely want to have to take too many additional steps themselves unless those additional steps also contain actionable information

Statistician

@Beth - it's a matter of time.  They just don't have the time to do the playing around.  But by that same token, when I've offered to do interactive what-ifs in webex/meetings, they tend not to be very comfortable with it.

Prospector

@MFloGrasso - most of my bottom right visuals are based in Excel or Tableau.  You can do bottom right in Excel but it takes a lot more work.  And you gotta have a pretty clear idea of where you're going to go first.

Prospector

jchang -- hmm. That's actually kind of contrary to what I'd think. I would think the higher up the role the more control they'd want on what they see or the data they have to make those decisions.

Blogger

@Beth, oftentimes, my audience wants (needs) a PDQ summary, so it's also not always worth the effort to add in the bells and whistles.

Statistician

@Beth - you are right.  The higher up the role, the less they want to "play" and the more they want "actionable insight"

Prospector

Jchang, how do you then find opportunities to produce "bottom right" visuals?

Statistician

jchang -- I would think as a user of the data the more I'm able to play with the data, the better. But seems maybe you're suggesting some folks don't want to be bothered. I suppose it depends on their role?

Blogger

@Beth, @MFloGrasso - I've been pushing Tableau because of its greater interactive capabilities but most companies are limited to Excel because it's a commonly available tool that doesn't require any special IT support to set up.

Prospector

And by the way, I LOVE the addition of the slicer tool in Excel Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts.  A great simple item to help the user interact with the info I provide them.

Statistician

Beth, it's a combination of both.  My tools are Excel and basic SAS, but culturally, I have an uphill climb requesting additional resources.

Statistician

I agree with MFloGrasso - I tend to build bottom right vizuals (or try to) but my audience tends to want upper left vizes.

Prospector

How interactive does your audience want to get with your visualizations?

Blogger

LOL @Beth. I have seen coworkers/peers attempt to recreate some of the more "busy" infographics to very embarrassing results.

Statistician

MFloGrasso -- is that a cultural situation or a tools issue (re: not being able to move to the other side of the axis)?

Blogger

The big static infographics that have become popular on the web are fun, but some try to hard and end up providing not so much value after all.

Blogger

Using Jonathan's terminology, I'm doing a lot of static explanatory visualizations, and I don't get a lot of opportunities to move to the other side of either axis.

Statistician

The ability to more easily explore data is so critical. Agreed?

Blogger

Hi everybody. While Jonathan's talking, do share: How much data visualization are doing today? What are your challenges?

Blogger

Looking forward to this one.  This topic is so important.

Statistician
Greeting from Southern California . It is loud and clear here in southern ca using chrome.
Prospector

hello from Vasil

Prospector

Hey all.  Strongly looking forward to this one.

Statistician

Hello from T.O.

Prospector

Hi, I'm here and looking forward to today's conversation.

Hello from the DC Metro Area...

Prospector

Hello from the rainy buckeye state!

 

Prospector

Good Morning all

Master Analyst

While you're waiting for start time, check out Jonathan's site, policyviz.com! Click here.

Blogger

Listeners, please note that at start time, 2 pm ET, the audio player will appear in the window above. To start the audio, click the left-hand arrow. Sometimes you have to click more than once.

Blogger

Some of you will recognize Jonathan from a video chat he did with All Analytics earlier this year, as well as from his blogs. Check those out here.

Blogger

Hello everybody. I'm looking forward to today's lecture with Jonathan Schwabish, a passionate create of data visualizations. If you haven't already downloaded his slide deck, please do so now from the link above. This slide deck is newly posted as of a couple of hours ago. So, if you downloaded earlier, please get this new version. Our previous lecturer, Hyoun Park, had to drop out for personal reasons and Jonathan has gratiously jumped in today!

Blogger

Coming up soon ...

Prospector

alright Im logged in and ready

 

Prospector

Hello everybody!

Prospector

And a good day to one and all!

Prospector

Look forward to tomorrow's presentation--

Prospector

I'm looking forward to the presentation!  there's a lot to discuss on visual analytics, prioritizing data, and melding visuals with the right narrative.

Blogger

greetings panelists

Prospector

Looking forward to the presentation.

Prospector

Hope to attend should be interesting

Prospector

Greeting from southern CA.

Prospector

Interesting stuff!

Prospector


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