Yearly Archives: 2013

Nightmare Bacteria, Antibiotics and the Remote Control

I had the flu last week, and it sucked. Well, except for two things: first, I got to lie on the couch for days on end. Second, no one battled me for the remote control. The first couple of days, … Continue reading

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Posted in Graphs, Newsletters | Leave a comment

Control Charts – What Are You Controlling?

I’m an enormous fan of W. Edwards Deming and his classic quality-management book, Out of the Crisis. In addition to referring to it several times a year, I also often present this book to young friends and family members graduating … Continue reading

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Posted in Data Analysis, Decision Support, Newsletters, Statistics (is not a dirty word) | Leave a comment

Mass Gatherings Medicine

In case you haven’t heard, the Red Sox won the World Series last week. Yes, my beloved team that “Reversed the Curse” in 2004 defied the odds yet again, going from “Worst to First” to win it all this season. … Continue reading

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Posted in Data Analysis, Etcetera, In the News, Know Your Audience, Newsletters | Leave a comment

Scary Movies and Scary Graphs

I am not a big fan of scary movies. The way I see it, life is frightening enough without handing over my hard-earned cash to have the bejesus scared out of me. What I particularly hate about horror flicks is … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Data Analysis, Graphs, Newsletters | Leave a comment

Five Days at Memorial

In today’s newsletter I share a “must-read” book — Five Days at Memorial, by Dr. Sheri Fink. It is a book that makes you think very long and very hard about situational ethics. I literally could not put this book … Continue reading

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Posted in Books, In the News, Newsletters | Leave a comment

Variation and Its Discontents

Funnel Plots for Fair Comparisons by Stephen Few and Katherine Rowell Central to quantitative data analysis is an understanding of variation. When we measure multiple occurrences of things to determine how and to what extent they differ, we’re examining variation. … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Data Analysis, Design Basics, Editing Charts & Graphs, Graphs | 1 Comment

My Dashboard For Your Bubble-Gum

I wish I had a nickel for each time a person has asked me to share an example of a good healthcare dashboard. If I did, I’d have a whole lot of nickels, which I would use to buy a … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Dashboards, Design Basics, Know Your Audience, Newsletters | 2 Comments

You Can Learn A Lot From a Watermelon Mojito

Sadly, the long, lazy afternoons making and sipping my favorite summer cocktail — a watermelon mojito — are winding down. I love this drink, made with fresh watermelon purée, mint, lime juice, simple syrup, and light rum. The layering of … Continue reading

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Posted in Best Practices, Communicating Data to the Public, Design Basics, Graphs, Newsletters, Tableau, Tables | Leave a comment

Give Your Y Axis a Break

I recently got to glimpse what a jet-setter’s life might be like when I went to Niagara Falls, Canada, for less than a day (in and out in about eight hours) to deliver a keynote address to a very nice … Continue reading

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Posted in Editing Charts & Graphs, Graphs, Newsletters | Leave a comment

How to Simulate a “Broken axis” Value Axis

This type of chart is often used when a few data points greatly exceed the others. When plotted on a standard chart the other values are dwarfed. The chart actually consists of two charts. Both charts use the same data … Continue reading

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Posted in Editing Charts & Graphs, Excel Tips & Tricks, Graphs | 6 Comments