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Re: st: TABLEAU graphics


From   Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: TABLEAU graphics
Date   Mon, 10 Sep 2012 12:16:10 +0100

I should not try irony (let alone sarcasm). On #1, Allan has written
the critique of alphabetic order that I did not spell out. On the
dates, that was a red herring from me, corrected in a later post. Nick

On Mon, Sep 10, 2012 at 10:07 AM, Allan Reese (Cefas)
<allan.reese@cefas.co.uk> wrote:
> Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> for once is stumped!
> Subject: Re: st: create pretty charts
>
> On Fri, Sep 7, 2012 at 10:27 AM, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote:
>> That's a good exercise for students, to say what is wrong with those
>> displays. I refer to
> <http://www.tableausoftware.com/learn/gallery/product-survey-analysis>
>
>>On the bottom panel, the dates run (equally spaced)
>>2/1/08 4/1/08 6/1/08 8/1/08 10/1/08 12/1/08 2/1/09 4/1/09
>>Anyone else puzzled by this?
>
> I think this is the equivalent of the Excel pitfall that "line graphs"
> connect data points in series but treat the "X" series as labels.  You
> will typically see such graphs for sales figures with business days
> regularly spaced and weekends and holidays just ignored. You have to use
> the scatterplot gallery and connect the lines to treat the "X" series as
> values.
>
>> 1. State identifiers running alphabetically from CA to WA; that's
> helpful.
>
> I question that.  It's helpful to list states in alpha order if the
> intention is to facilitate looking up individual values, but for that
> intention a table would be better.  There's no reason to expect any data
> pattern to follow the alphabetic order.  Sorting the states by the Y
> values (height of bar or component thereof) might add information, if
> readers might be interested in where states came in order.  Sorting the
> states as NE-SW might be informative.
>
> Hovering over the bottom panel (hidden meat) reveals the lines are
> quadratic fits.  Extrapolating only makes sense if the X axis is metric.
> Hence this plot is nonsense and the whole page looks like made-up data.
> So anyone who's impressed is doing the equivalent of looking at a page
> of Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet and admiring the content not the typeface.
>
> Allan
>
>
>
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