Visualisation and storytelling
Good storytelling requires that our visuals are done properly. By that, it means that the visual is conveying facts correctly and is itself factual, and it does deliver the intended message to the audience. This is increasingly becoming important among employers and in some instances, visualisation questions are part of the interview process to ascertain your suitability as a data scientist hire.
In interview scenarios, the common kind of ‘test’ comes in the form of (i) asking you to comment on an existing/given visualisation or (ii) asking you to walk them through the process of graphing a small data set. The aim is to ensure that you not only understand analytics but also the art of communicating that to stakeholders effectively.
In this assignment, you will be asked to undertake three tasks related to the above.
1. The figure below is taken from a repository of “bad visualisations”.
• Comment what is wrong with this visual.
• Provide a visual to show how you would improve it.
2. You have been given a small data file containing different brands of cereals and their nutritional information. This file was provided to you by Kelloggs, which you can download from the LMS.
Kelloggs has asked you to produce suitable visualisation(s) and to suggest a narrative that will position Kelloggs’ products as one of the best to consider compared to the competitors.
• The various columns are self-explanatory except for Manufacturer, where the codes are as follows: G = General Mills, K = Kelloggs, N = Nabisco, P = Post, Q = Quaker Oats and R = Ralston Purina.
• The Type column here refers to whether the product is served hot or cold (H/C).
• Provide suitable visuals (maximum of three) and in no more than 250 words, provide a narrative that will accomplish the requirements above.
• You can approach this by considering Kelloggs as a brand, i.e., not focusing on a particular Kelloggs product, or highlight a particular product (or a few products) from Kelloggs.
3. Helen of Troy was known as “the face that launched a thousand ships.” Advisory
engagements occasionally will have “the killer graphic” that allows stakeholders to engage with the concept.
Assignment 1 provided you with the opportunity to present an analytics-driven improvement idea to the Lord Mayor. I am sure that you have progressed your thinking in preparation for Assignment 3. At present, what is your “killer graphic”? Please:
• provide the visualisation
• articulate why you believe this to be the most compelling visualisation of your concept.
4. Edwin Tufte allegedly said, “Clutter and confusion are not attributes of data - they are shortcomings of design.” Please identify a visualisation that is particularly galling (offensive, annoying, you get my drift) to you. Please:
• Provide the visualisation
• Articulate why you find this visualisation such a good example of bad design
• Provide an alternative visualisation that demonstrates better practice.