Damn Complicated Dataset!!!

May 2, 2010

I have decided upon the data visualisation assignment, and instead of the PNG data, I will be using Solomon Island data. I was pretty confused about the whole thing last week. I had thought we were expected to learn flash and actually create a working data visualisation! So I was quite panicky in our tutorial. Turns out, it’s more about conceptualising the idea based on your data set than the actual physical (or non physical) construction. On learning this I was both relieved and bewildered because without knowledge of Flash, I have no idea what is possible to create, so therefore have no idea how to conceptualise my dataset!! Obviously, I have SOME idea of what can be done, having looked around the internet, but I don’t know the limits or practicalities. I guess all great design breakthroughs happen when someone is either ignorant or the limitations or just ignores them.

So anyway. I have most of the data set, and I’ve visualised it in a tree graphic to comprehend all the different ways of viewing the data. But I’m not much closer to coming up with a creative way to display it. Per survey question, there are three initial possible ways to view the data: gender, age or province. From that, each branch splits off again and then again.

For example:

‘Ability to read and write a simple letter’
You could first of all get the percentage of the male population, then of that percentage, split it down to the males in the Honiara province, then split that percentage down further to the 14-19 year olds. You could keep this as a percentage of the whole Solomon Islander group OR you could make each split a new whole.
It’s so damn complicated!! In my data visualisation I want it to be possible to compare results of this detail but also compare more general results.

I just have to make my brain come up with some sort of amazing design that will cater to all of this. Although, with such a complicated dataset, maybe the simplest design would suit best and be easiest to read…. Because although the data visualisation of the poetry was awesome, it didn’t tell you anything at all. Not that the dataset itself would have, but had you inserted a different dataset into it, you wouldn’t have been able to see any correlations at all.

Maybe I’ll stick to graphs that you can turn on and off and view overlaid or individually. And there will be animation between graphs, and the ability to choose exactly which data you’re viewing and comparing.


One Response to “Damn Complicated Dataset!!!”

  1. […] Damn Complicated Dataset!!! […]

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