Monday, July 02, 2012

Making sense of lots of data

I'm a fan of William Cleveland's insights into what works in graphics.  His ideas have spread widely; you may have seen some in Tufte's work.

Recently I ran across a relatively new way of displaying time series graphs.  It's called a horizon plot.  At first, I thought it rather contrived.  As Stephen Few also decided, they are beginning to grow on me.  Read his Time on the Horizon for a good introduction or Timely Portfolio's Horizon Plot Already Available for how to create them in R. Panopticon, their developer, has Visualize Multiple Data Sets & Compare Trends with Horizon Graphs, Thanks to the University of California, Berkeley, for their Sizing the Horizon: The Effects of Chart Size and Layering on the Graphical Perception of Time Series Visualizations, which led me to find them.

I think you may see more of these in the future, so spend a "Few" minutes (pun intended) to learn how to read them.  

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