Dataviz: Tracking America’s Commute, Hour by Hour

We went over to the folks at Flowingdata to see what amazing dataviz stuff they’ve been brewing. This one was pretty funny. They’ve got an interactive map that shows when people begin their commute and zero in on a county Nevada beginning at Midnight-5am. Not shocking, with agriculture and gaming in their backyard. Plus it’s just too hot to start the day later on!

Graph of when Americans commute to work.


More great data visualizations we find here!

Dataviz: Tracking the Success of Movie Careers Post SNL

We love the folks at FiveThirtyEight. Walt Hickey has done some great big data work and some awesome data visualizations. For this one he took a look at all of the movies and roles of SNL alumni. (BTW some of us Dasherooers are STILL trying to stay awake during SNL 40, jeez.)

Shocking? Films that had at least one “SNL” alumnus have made an aggregate $88.3 billion and that’s not adjusting for any inflation!

Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. nab most success in a lead role. How did we forget that Robert Downey Jr. was even on SNL? Weird.

Chart of SNL Alumni careers

Taking into account this same data plus data from the Tomatometer there are some duds, poor Joe Piscopo, we thought you were great in Johnny Dangerously!

Chart of post snl alumni.

Go here for the full on awesome report!

Bar Chart or Line Graph, Which to Choose

This line graph trends cumulative Facebook fans by day

This line graph trends cumulative Facebook fans by day, it’s great!

When you create a bar chart or line graph it’s kinda important to think about what you really want out of it. Are you looking at a trend over time or do you want to view separate categories of growth (or decline!) We just had this conversation here at Dasheroo about the types of graphs we want to show you and why.

When to Use a Line Graph

These are graphs that show you a continuous trending over time. For instance you can see a cumulative number of Facebook followers you have OR you can see a daily line graph of new followers. A cumulative line graph might show you a consistent (up and to the right line graph where the latter shows you highs and lows of daily action. The x axis would be the date range and the y axis would be the number of followers.

When to Use a Bar Chart

This is a great bar chart that shows different categories and how they compare to each other.

This is a great bar chart that shows different categories and how they compare to each other.

One way to use a bar chart is for categorical data. You can visually compare things from one month or day to another. While you can use a bar chart OR line chart for many of the same things a bar chart is also great for things that are not continuous.

For instance we may want to show a bar chart if you’re looking at comparing your email marketing campaign data. One campaign might have nothing to do with another but you still want to plot the open rates to see what types of campaigns are doing better than others.

You may have products you sell where you want to see that your oranges are selling better than your apples. It might make you rethink where you place your oranges in your store.

So make sure you think carefully about what you need to see before you put your data in the right graph.