Seeking solace in data

Posted to Statistics  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

I think many of us can relate to this during the odd election cycle. Marcus Wohlsen for Wired describes the constant visits and refreshes to FiveThirtyEight for new polls and projections.

Evan is a poll obsessive, FiveThirtyEight strain—a subspecies I recognize because I’m one of them, too. When he wakes up in the morning, he doesn’t shower or eat breakfast before checking the Nate Silver-founded site’s presidential election forecast (sounds about right). He keeps a tab open to FiveThirtyEight’s latest poll list; a new poll means new odds in the forecast (yup). He get push alerts on his phone when the forecast changes (check). He follows the 538 Forecast Bot, a Twitter account that tweets every time the forecast changes (same). In all, Evan says he checks in hourly, at least while he’s awake (I plead the Fifth).

This was me for a while, and no matter what the forecasts say, I never feel good about what I see. Because there’s always a chance.

Favorites

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.

Causes of Death

There are many ways to die. Cancer. Infection. Mental. External. This is how different groups of people died over the past 10 years, visualized by age.

Unemployment in America, Mapped Over Time

Watch the regional changes across the country from 1990 to 2016.

One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?