For the Greek hairdressers, the party’s over

In the beginning of the Greek debt crisis, Greek hairdressers became one of the symbols of a badly managed country (they could retire at 50 with full benefits). But there is more and more interesting things to say about them. Take a look at inflation rates for hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments in Greece. … Read more

Chart redraw: Troops Vs. Cost (Time Magazine)

Time Magazine published a very boring combo dual-axes chart with a broken scale. Most of the time these charts beg for a connected scatterplot, so I made the one above. The original chart was something like this: I’m sorry, Time mag,  but my chart tells hands down a much more interesting story.

Strange L-shaped trends

There is not much of a story in the expected evolution of US population, according to the United Nations estimates and projections (1950-2100): (You’ll see in a moment why there is a vertical line in 2005.) Things get a little more interesting if you split population by age groups. You can see that population is … Read more

Bars and lines: méfiez-vous des morceaux choisis

So, this data visualization thing is new to you, but you already know enough to avoid basic mistakes (pies, 3D…). While playing with the data, you make these two charts: You already know that a bar chart helps you to compare data points, while a line chart is better at displaying trends, right? But you keep … Read more

Excel Charts meet William Playfair

William Playfair wheat prices Excel version

Are you sure you can recognize an Excel chart from miles away? I thought that too. Then I started playing with some data visualization historical milestones and now I’m not so sure. Trying to recreate these charts in Excel is a great way to improve your Excel skills and pay a humble tribute to the data … Read more

Charts: Monthly Unemployment Rates by State 1976-2009

Here are two ways to display a relatively large dataset, montly unemployment rates by state since 1976. The first one, above, is perfect to see the overall patterns, the range from the lowest to the highest, the outliers and the slopes. An interactive version would allow the user to highlight specific series. A small-multiple version … Read more

Spending Time Deciphering Time Utilization Charts

I really dislike stacked bar charts… Let’s see a new bad example. Steve Rubel shares with us how he spent his time online (update: page no longer available) over the last two weeks. He uses the Firefox add-on PageAddict to monitor the time. He writes: As you can see almost all of my time online … Read more