I never thought I’d be so basic as to use Tableau Public, but it’s important to keep in mind the end goal of data visualization is insight, not technology or tools.
An explication of the interdisciplinary overlaps and differences between recent technology-driven social change movmements
Defending interactive visualization and data journalism against the cult of the static and the simplistic
Tufte’s illustration of what he famously dubbed ‘The Flatland’ –– the two-dimensional, static and shallow state of information graphics –– in his 1980 work Envisioning Information
When we talk about redundancy and inefficiency in municipal governments, we almost always come back to the complex topic of procurement. That’s why we need open standards for procurment policies more than ever.
Webinar-Data Viz 101 Transforming Raw Data Into Interactive Stories With Little To No Coding Knowledge
Just a quick note that I'll be teaching a webinar sponsored by PBS MediaShift on data visualization basics at 1 p.m. today. Join in if you're interested.
We'll cover the basics and best practices of interactive data viz, as well as look at some tools that can make visualization faster when in a time crunch.
Here are just a few of those tools.
It's been a while since I've had the leisure to play with new open-source tools for data journalism. It's been even longer since I've written a tutorial. Today I wanted to explore a fairly WYSIWYG web app Plotly. Although most of the features on face value appear to be not much more than what you can do in Google Visualization Playground or an open-source library like Highcharts.js – basic chart types on-the-fly, hover interactions – what particularly stands out about Plotly is its ability to perform many of the statistical analyses to your dataset before you go through the process of visualizing it.
For example, you can calculate percent change from a set of chronological raw numbers to display accurate trend data by simply choosing "Data Analysis>Percent Change" in the Grid View. I tried this out with some historical data scraped by the folks at enigma.io on the percentage of the Savannah-area workforce in the hospitality industry, even adding in a fit or "trend" line to verify the upward tick:
Just to give you an idea of the full range of more than 45 different standard chart types, I put together this slick heat map displaying the average unique visitors I've received on my blog for the past month during certain times and days of the week. Take it for a whirl:
Not bad for a completely free, collaborative, easy-to-teach tool, huh? It's no d3.js, but it does the job quite nicely. Especially when it comes to saving time writing out complicated Excel formulas.
Yesterday, I presented a five-minute lightning talk at the Center for Collaborative Journalism on what I'm tentatively calling the "post-platform" journalist. From "print journalist", to "data journalist", to "multimedia journalist" and even to "social journalist," it seems as though the qualifiers that often get placed before the word "journalist" abound in almost cliche numbers. Each of these "types" of journalism typically seek to clarify the platform in which the individual tells the story rather than the content of the story itself. But in an era of information abundance and the democratization of publishing, we've seen the rapid rise of almost limitless numbers of platforms that require a range of almost limitless skills.
Journalism as a discipline has also expanded beyond traditional industrialized roles to encompass nontraditional forms of community information-dissemination and engagement, including community bloggers, content marketing experts, data scientists and entrepreneurs.
Hence why I think it's time we get past the notion of "platforms." Instead of terms such as "cross-platform journalist" or "multimedia journalist," it now seems more appropriate to ditch the qualifiers altogether for a term that reflects the single overarching goal of all journalists: To focus on telling the story in the most effective way possible, and not get caught up with the platforms from which we tell them.
In the long-overdue 7 months since I last posted here, I've gone through one of the most difficult situations of my life – one which I'm not seeking your sympathy for, and also not embarrassed to admit the depression the loss brought on. I'll leave all that stuff to Tumblr for you to read should you wish
This week, I put in my two weeks’ notice at Savannah’s Morning News Media and our parent company, Morris Publishing Group, to move back after the holiday to New York City to join an up-and-coming NYC-based startup.
In my year-and-a-half at the helm of the SMN’s digital content and product development strategies, including launching dosavannah.com, I learned invaluable management skills, conflict resolution and the courage to push fearlessly for innovation, even when tradition and red tape got in the way.