Graphs

Children Can Kill You

Every time my daughter Annie would pull some heart-stopping, daredevil stunt in the swimming pool, on the ski slopes, or while roller-blading with her friends, I would hear two distinct voices in my head. The first was my mother’s as … Continue reading

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Scale Matters

Choosing the right graph type to display your healthcare data is only part of the battle. You also need to keep an eye on details such as the scale of the graph’s axes. Software applications default to the maximum value … Continue reading

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Genius Steals

I always chuckle appreciatively when I see good, creative work that recalls Oscar Wilde’s defiant “Talent borrows; genius steals.” Here’s an example. I loved this table displaying patient satisfaction survey results by hospital floor compared with national benchmarks; it was … Continue reading

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A Histogram and Frequency Polygon Walk Into a Bar…

The other day (which also just happened to be my birthday), I had a complete and utter brain cramp as I searched for the name of what is perhaps the most commonly used graph to display distributions of discrete and … Continue reading

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Posted in Graphs, Newsletters | 1 Comment

Hospital Charge Data — More Than Meets the Eye

I have watched with great interest as the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has made hospital charge data available to the public, and different groups have begun reporting on it. I imagine that many of you share … Continue reading

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Bubble Charts

I am grateful to newsletter reader Meic Goodyear, who was kind enough to share a very interesting project that he and his colleague Brian Coutinho have been working on. Here are Meic’s description of the project and the associated data … Continue reading

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The Goal-Gradient Effect

I’m a big goal-setter. You name it, and I’ve probably set a goal for it. This is no badge of honor, mind you — there are millions of people just like me who set goals and work hard to achieve … Continue reading

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Posted in Decision Support, Design Basics, Graphs, Newsletters | 1 Comment

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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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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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