Thursday, February 21, 2013

The School Of Big Data - Choosing The Right Graph

Big Data Analytics - Choosing the Right Chart for Your Data from Datameer on Vimeo.

We've enjoyed incorporating charts and graphs into our weekly lessons. The best thing about data displays is that they evoke numerical stories within any discipline, whether science, math, economics, history, or humanities. Understanding a graph is an essential skill. Creating an original chart, however, is a higher-level exercise. It is the difference between decoding a political cartoon and creating an original drawing. It's the difference between reading an essay and writing an essay.

The clear, detailed video from Datameer (above) lays out six essential types of charts and gives numerous examples of their potential applications. Even though Datameer is a data management company, the engaging video is ideal for teachers and learners. The clip offers a step-by-step primer about the range of visual options for all sets of numbers and statistics.

Source: Extreme Presentation
The ever-expanding world of "Big Data" means that our students must emerge from high school with a deft familiarity in numbers and analytics. To read more about how databases and statistics are shaping the field of education, you might check out the following:
A useful site to use in the classroom is the Chart Chooser from Juice Analytics. The roster of resources gives targeted tools for all sorts of data goals. It pairs well with the Chart Chooser diagram from Extreme Presentation. The handy graphic provides an instructional flowchart to select the best chart or graph for a range of desired outcomes.

Source: Juice Analytics
Accurate graphs can enhance classroom conversations about current trends or data sciences. Poorly constructed charts, however, can distort meanings and impart imprecise interpretations. The reliability of graphs, in fact, became a debate point in the 2012 presidential election. 

For further reading about creating graphs, we recommend:
For eye-opening examples of "bad" charts, we recommend:

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