One Year of Comrades Training

On a recent job at Discovery to do some analytics for Vitality, I was looking at data that is recorded into their platform as part of their insurance linked wellness program. There are various activities that are tracked as part of the program and a fair amount of it is running data. Given the size of their customer base it’s fair to assume that many of them have run the Comrades Marathon, and I wanted to see what all those runner’s various training programs looked like. Continue reading “One Year of Comrades Training”

Misery Index

There have been a couple of articles recently that have spoken about South Africa having a bad Misery Index rating. Its quite a harsh term, but ennui index or “not cool man” index isn’t going to grab headlines. Like a lot of statistics reported in popular media, it tends to be reported as a snap snot number at a particular time rather than the trend. So here is a historic plot that shows how miserable we have been since 1994.  Continue reading “Misery Index”

Jerry Mander

par_mander_01Since this is an article about gerrymandering, I thought I’d go with a clever, catchy title like Jerry Mander. Ha! But.. it turns out he is a real guy (pictured on the right) with real crazy hair and has written a book about the dangers of television. He also wrote a book about the flaws of capitalism. I get a sense he is just against things (including combs). This article is actually about the other kind of gerrymandering:

n. The practice of redrawing electoral districts to gain an electoral advantage for a political party.

You can read all about gerrymandering online. Its not a new practice. The picture below was published when the term was first coined in 1812.

The_Gerry-Mander_Edit

What I’m wanting to show here is how this relates to a South African context. With the next municipal elections coming up soon, its interesting to see how our electoral system implements the notion of voters vs. voting district. Continue reading “Jerry Mander”

The Wedding Photographer Problem

Jason posted yet another awesome edition of the Naked Data newsletter (which you should all definitely be reading). In this particular issue (#75) there is article entitled: Automatically generate beautiful visualisations from your data. Although there is a lot of snark in that title, the author is basically saying that good data visualisation is difficult and requires someone with training and experience if you want a decent end product. Continue reading “The Wedding Photographer Problem”

The Infographic Awakens

Since we are still in the grips of Star Wars frenzy (and the various problems in the world that need solving will still be there in tomorrow), Bloomberg created an infographic showing the use of the Force across all 7 Star Wars films. I like the adherence to the colour scheme and, since the data doesn’t actually matter, this if form over function that works well.

Colour Palettes for Data Visualizations

When creating a data visualisation, one the worst ways to encode the differences between values is to use changes in colour. Whether going from light to dark or changing between two colours, our brains are not particularly good at determining how big the difference is and for small differences, we may not notice it at all. Continue reading “Colour Palettes for Data Visualizations”