A list of useful resources:
Over the last three years IRISS has been publishing IRISS insights – evidence summaries to support social services in Scotland. Often we experience that the evidence contains data which does not lend itself to feature within the format of an insight, and therefore we have created Infopics.
Through the Infopics we explore how to best visualise the often dense data behind social services reports, and we endeavour to make the information easy to understand and engage with. – In the same process we enhance our abilities as data visualisers.
There might not be an Infopics edition with every IRISS insight but there will be for those with topics that have a lot of data associated with it.
We’re exited about this opportunity and would love to hear your comments!
Paul and I are giving a workshop at Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 12th February 2013. Our SPICe colleagues have been kind to suggest topics up front, so we are pleased to say that the presentation will incorporate a wide variety of examples. Below we have compiled a list of websites which will come in handy for delegates.
Presentation related links:
The Guardian datablog
Where does my money go?
BBC: Eurozone debt web
New York Times: Euro debt crisis
Stephen Few: The chart junk debate
Simon Rogers: How to make a map with Google fusion tables
The Guardian: US election
Victoria Murray, Turning Point Scotland has brought along some key result data for some of the services they provide. Rather than just present bar charts she wants to make the data more accessible to those in her organisation.
Here’s an example of what we came up with to tell the story in a better way
Helen Harper, Volunteer Development Scotland has brought along disclosure data submitted for various services for 2011, which is sorted by location.
Paul (IRISS developer) has uploaded the data in an excel spreadsheet into a Google table (a Google app in Gmail) in order to create a visualisation of the disclosure data on a Google fusion table.
The Guardian data blog incorporates some of these fusion tables: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/mar/19/housing-minimum-wage-map
As the disclosure data we’re looking at today contains postcode information, a geocode is created for this value which is then mapped out. You can also configure styles of map, among other things.
To try out using a Google fusion table go to: http://www.google.com/fusiontables/Home
For support using Google fusion tables, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Data on employment figures from nine local authorities across different industries has been presented by Sean Stephens from EKOSGEN, a consultancy that offers evidence-based advice to clients in economic, social and regeneration sectors. It’s an organisation that needs to provide data to clients in different ways.
In this case, we’re specifically looking at Glasgow city data for different industries and differences for each one over a period of three years, 2008-2010.
Using the Many Eyes tool, we can show proportionate changes over time. The Matrix Chart can be used to do this:
A tree map may could also be used to visualise such data:
Welcome to this live blog on a data visualisation workshop that we’re running in our offices all day. A number of people from various organisations will present their data and we’ll be showing them how to make it pretty, interesting and more accessible. The Twitter hashtag for the event is: #datavizlive.
This is the tool we use and promote at IRISS: http://look.iriss.org.uk/
Many Eyes is another tool, which can visualise data.
So we’re starting with Claire Chorsley from North Ayrshire Council. Claire has brought along some case file data for the internal management team. It’s a simple spreadsheet document that shows tabulated data for each service.
Tip for organising data in spreadsheet:
- Try and not leave any empty cells, even if it’s just putting a 0 in the field.
- It’s important to define what kind of things you want to visualise – relationships, numbers etc.
- Choose a format that will work for the data – bubble chart, matrix chart etc.
Here’s an example of a bubble chart:
And here’s an example of a Matrix chart to visualise data:
These are just some of the ways to make data more accessible.
The look@iriss data visualisation tool (http://look.iriss.org.uk/) allows you to easily upload an excel spreadsheet – it will incorporate any formatting on upload, including colour.
When creating a visualisation just follow the easy steps: firstly upload your data. Then you’ll get to create visualisation – general, options and colours. Fill out all fields as necessary. Consider licence e.g. creative commons, and whether it will be visible to all or private.
Here’s a visualisation that we’ve produced for the Richmond Fellowship Scotland data.
Image by Wil Freeborn
On 21st March 2012 Paul, Ben and I are offering our time in neatly apportioned sessions to co-create data visualisations with people in the Scottish social services sector who would like to try to visualise the data they deal with on a day-to-day basis.
The event is free, the coffee will be strong, and all that is required to attend a session is some tabulated data. No prior knowledge of data visualisation is required.
Alongside visualising we also want to talk about what we do, how we do it and we want to hear people’s opinions and ideas. So we have also added chairs for spectators, commentators, people keen to talk about data visualisation. We call these curiosity seats. So if you are someone, or know someone, who would just like to come along and see how it all comes together then that is possible as well.
Details of the event can be found here:
Any questions or comments, please let me know!
Ben and I have been thinking about how best to represent visually the Scottish social services workforce, how they are represented within each service sector and what significant changes have taken place over the last couple of years.
Together we came up with the above. What do you think? It’s more of a infographic than a visualisation but we like it. As usual, Ben was the programming and design wizard, whereas my own input was limited to data, fonts and colours, and Paul acted as our editor.
All comments welcome as well as suggestions for other data you think would be illustrated well with the use of isotypes. – Get in touch!
I am especially keen to ensure that the map stays up-to-date and that everyone who lives in the area can contribute their knowledge and experience to the map, thus enriching the resource. So the right way to go is crowd sourcing data…
Over the last couple of year I have been following lots of mapping exercises and various ways of collecting data and keep being both amazed and inspired at how quickly maps can be put together by people who have never met but each have information which contributes to the story the map is telling. In the last few days a Google map has been created to track the riots in London. It is both fascinating and heartbreaking to follow the developments through the population of the map. – It is data by the people, for the people. It is so like what Paul and I are working on, and so distant from it.