In Golf Charts Dick K posted some examples of charts he’d knocked up for his golf league, then in Golf Charts – Another Take, Tushar Mehta posted his take on the charts. In What would you do if a co-worker makes ugly charts? Chandoo asks the question, so I guess my answer is I’d do a blog post about them and try and do a better job [although I'd also guess I’ll fail and Jon P or Chandoo, will have to do it properly ;-)]
Tushars’ charts look OK, but Dicks’, (and there just no nice way to say this Dick, sorry) looks horrid, but also I think I have a few ideas that might be better at a showing the data. Of course they might not!!!!
Here we go.
Chart 1, Position Each Week.
Tushars’ step chart is a good way to show the data, in fact I think it’s probably the best way. I might have just bunged in a bar chart though, I think it works OK when there’s not many data points. I’d be tempted to also change the Y axis so that it was as long as the total number of positions in the league, that’s a bit more absolute.
Chart 2. Best and Worst.
Again Tushars’ chart is an improvement on Dicks’, but maybe the Y axis could be reversed? I like the idea on the range, but an average would be useful, and how about a standard deviation; – a average without a deviation is like a King with out a crown! Showing the date (week number) is easy too. I also sorted the data by lowest score, that’s just good practice I think?
Having made this chart, I can’t say I love it. I’d like to scale up the error bars for the SD, but that would mean their size would not be proportionate to the Y axis scale. Adding a second Y axis would be rubbish too. I’m not sure this is a win, hummmm.
Chart 3. Over Par, Over Handicap.
Dicks’ chart’ actually not that bad, I think it shows the data well, but Tushar brings up a very good point about positives. The issues with Tushars chart is that because the starting point is not the same its hard to get a handle on the over all performance of each player, which you can do in Dicks. I tried a load of combinations for this, but in the end settled on something simple. I think it works ok, maybe the colours could be better, but there’s quite a lot of information in this chart.
There is a bit of a problem here though and that’s with the actual data. If you play off 20, and drop 2 shots, thats not really as bad as if you play off 5 and drop 2 shots. A percentage I hear you say? Maybe…
I lost a bit of interest in the rest of the charts, but then the last one spiked it a bit.
This is simple, show the average an total scores. But when I looked at both Tushar’s and Dick’s charts 2 things struck me. Firstly the bars are meaning less, they show who has the best scores, but there is not reason they should be as long or a short as they are. Especially for first one the resolution could be higher. Second thing was that I could not compare all the data at the same time, the 2 sets of bars next to each other are too much (admittedly this might just be because I’m limited!)
I was not sure how to make this better, I thought about a panel chart, but I couldn’t see how that would plan out. In the end I went for a bit of in cell charting, but in the end again, I had to use a real charts because in cells charts could not give me the resolution I needed. I never solved the second issue!
On reflection, I don’t think I’ve brought much to the party, all my charts are bar charts(!), and one looks a bit like a box plot. I think I’ve got some way to go with charting!