Draw a….what? (It’s in your notes…)
Draw a PICTURE. A distribution. A graph.
LOOK AT IT.
But statistics doesn’t just revolve around histograms, boxplots and scatterplots. Statisticians have (marginally) grown personalities over the years and realize non-statisticians need something tangible to understand data trends. Enter: Nathan Yau of FlowingData.com, a PhD candidate in statistics who makes use of his background in computer science to explore and visualize data.
Since the word “data” sounds so dull…like “widgets” in economics…let’s look at a few examples Yau took from reality:
- Stats about Facebook
- Caffeine v. Calories
- Walmart’s growth
- How People in America Spend their Day (I showed you this one in class)
- Heavy Metal Band Names Flow Chart
- Gas Prices
Evidence of “data-visualization” tools is very commonplace these days and you’ll find that many popular websites mix humor and/or pop-culture into their infographics (The Onion has been doing it for years).
OR Make your own at Graphjam.com