BUS5AP Analytics in Practice
Semester 2 2019
Visualisation and storytelling
Good storytelling requires that our visuals are done properly. By that, it means that the visual is conveying facts correctly and is itself factual, and it does deliver the intended message to the audience. This is increasingly becoming important among employers and in some instances, visualisation questions are part of the interview process to ascertain your suitability as a data scientist hire.
In interview scenarios, the common kind of ‘test’ comes in the form of (i) asking you to comment on an existing/given visualisation or (ii) asking you to walk them through the process of graphing a small data set. The aim is to ensure that you not only understand analytics but also the art of communicating that to stakeholders effectively.
In this assignment, you will be asked to undertake three tasks related to the above.
1. The figure below is taken from a repository of “bad visualisations”.
• Comment what is wrong with this visual.
• Provide a visual to show how you would improve it.
2. You have been given a small data file containing different brands of cereals and their nutritional information. This file was provided to you by Kelloggs, which you can download from the LMS.
Kelloggs has asked you to produce suitable visualisation(s) and to suggest a narrative that will position Kelloggs’ products as one of the best to consider compared to the competitors.
• The various columns are self-explanatory except for Manufacturer, where the codes are as follows: G = General Mills, K = Kelloggs, N = Nabisco, P = Post, Q = Quaker Oats and R = Ralston Purina.
• The Type column here refers to whether the product is served hot or cold (H/C).
• Provide suitable visuals (maximum of three) and in no more than 250 words, provide a narrative that will accomplish the requirements above.
• You can approach this by considering Kelloggs as a brand, i.e., not focusing on a particular Kelloggs product, or highlight a particular product (or a few products) from Kelloggs.
3. Helen of Troy was known as “the face that launched a thousand ships.” Advisory engagements occasionally will have “the killer graphic” that allows stakeholders to engage with the concept.
Assignment 1 provided you with the opportunity to present an analytics-driven improvement idea to the Lord Mayor. I am sure that you have progressed your thinking in preparation for Assignment 3. At present, what is your “killer graphic”? Please:
• provide the visualisation
• articulate why you believe this to be the most compelling visualisation of your concept.
4. Edwin Tufte allegedly said, “Clutter and confusion are not attributes of data - they are shortcomings of design.” Please identify a visualisation that is particularly galling (offensive, annoying, you get my drift) to you. Please:
• Provide the visualisation
• Articulate why you find this visualisation such a good example of bad design
• Provide an alternative visualisation that demonstrates better practice.
Your submission for this assignment will be a report that walks the marker through your thought process and to explain the design decisions you have taken in respond to each question.
Please use the same submission principles as Assignment #1 (PDF, name/assignment/page number on each page, etc etc)
In terms of the tools used to create the visual, you are allowed to use any tool of your choice. We will only focus on your final visual.
Marking rubric (35 Marks)
Criteria Grade D (50% to 60%) C (60% to 69%) B (70%% to 79%) A (80% and above)
Q1 (5 marks), commentary Some commentary of why this is a poor visual. Some consideration of contexts but missing out of important ones. Some relevant commentary of why this is a poor visual.
Some consideration of various contexts. Clearly commentary of why this is a poor visual. Decent consideration of various contexts. Clearly articulated commentary of why this is a poor visual.
Good consideration of various contexts.
Q1 (5 marks), improved visual Improvements made but linkage between changes and commentary is weak. Some changes are improvements but are missing a few. Improvements made with demonstration of some linkage between the changes and the commentary earlier. Some changes are indeed improvements. Improvements made with demonstration of linkage between the changes and the commentary earlier. Most changes are indeed improvements. Improvements made with strong linkage between the changes and the commentary earlier. Changes are indeed all improvements.
Q2 (3 marks), visuals presented Ok but with room for improvements. Close to average. A decent visual but with room for improvements. Above average. Demonstrating understanding of creating a good visual.
Clearly above average. Demonstrating good understanding of creating a good visual.
Nothing much to fault.
Q2 (7 marks), narrative An understandable narrative but not clearly compulsive. Some of the points cuts through. Some reflection of the directive given by Kelloggs. Some indication of storytelling technique used. A good narrative. Most of the points cuts through and reflects the directive given by Kelloggs. Adaptation of storytelling technique can be seen. A good narrative provided within the 250 words. Most of the points cuts through and is onpoint with the directive given by Kelloggs. Adaptation of storytelling technique is demonstrated. An articulated clear narrative that stays within 250 words, precise to the point and cuts through the message reflecting the brief. A clear use of one of the narratives is demonstrated.
Q3 (10 marks) Poor visualisation
Limited justification A decent visual but with room for improvements. Acceptable but not strong supporting narrative Good visual that demonstrates an understanding of good design. Good supporting narrative. Very solid visual supported by good rationale Nothing much to fault.
Q4 (5 marks) Poor choice of example
Poor alternative Acceptable example
Acceptable but not great critique
Acceptable alternative Good example
Good alternative Good example of poor design
Good critique of the example of bad design
Very good alternative design