Launch, grow, and unlock your career in data

February 23, 2010

Most Common Bible Words

No comments
In the Pastor's message in the March newsletter from my church, Dr. Tom Davis noted that "Love is mentioned 714 times in the Bible, yet “giving” or “possessions” is mentioned 2,172 times."

Naturally, my curiosity led me to the most commonly used words in the Bible (King James edition).

I'm not sure what source Dr. Tom used, but according to his calculations, "Love" would be about the 160th most used word and "possessions" would be in the top 60. I think he meant these to be expressions, not taken literally as words.

February 19, 2010

Improving Graphs in College Textbooks

No comments
Joyce Robbins, Ph.D. and Naomi Robbins, Ph.D. contributed an article to Stephen Few's monthly newsletter detailing problems with graphs and charts in college textbooks. It's well worth reading.

Quantitative Literacy Across the Curriculum: Improving Graphs in College Textbooks

To subscribe to Few's monthly Visual Intelligence Newsletter, click here.

February 17, 2010

Road to Recovery

No comments
It's very difficult to get a true account of the job situation in America, but one measurement that is often used is job losses. Organizing for America published the chart below today to provide their view of the state of jobs in the US. While statistics can be skewed to suit the author's message, I simply saw this as an example of a well constructed chart. For me, the best part of this chart was that it communicated its story effectively without much need for interpretation.

February 2, 2010

Problems with Line Charts Over Time

No comments
In order to accurately display a data series over time when comparing two dimensions, it's absolutely critical to have data for both dimensions for the same periods of time. Here is an example of a poor use of a time series:

In this example, the author has one line for Republicans and one line for Democrats. Each line has a point for each year. We all know that only one party can hold the presidency. The author should NOT plot a point for the years in which a party is not in power.

The author presents the data properly (though with a slightly different take on the data itself) with this bar chart, though the vertical axis does not include the entire range of values: