I mentioned in one of my previous articles that for data visualization to become truly interactive one may need to explore newer avenues. I was mighty impressed by this graphic behind the results that appeared in USAToday recently.
1. The authors (Analysis: Paul Overberg of USA TODAY and Robert Lang of Virginia Tech and Graphic: William Couch and Juan Thomassie, USA TODAY) clearly identified the factors driving the story. The winning candidate had a greater share of the segments that consisted of young, black and Hispanic voters. One segment that the candidate did not do well consisted of older voters.
2. They researched the results county by county and the graphics team presented it faithfully on screen down to the smallest of counties.
3. The chart shows both the demographic segment and the voting pattern….which means it shows both the causing factor and the caused. This was accomplished in the same space while allowing the reader to re-check at will.
4. The authors did not stop there, they added a (non-linear) timeline to the chart which enables the reader to see the polling results over time.
5. The choice of the colors was neat – Soft maroon and blue. This ensured that they blend together.
6. Simplification – while many others have gone overboard in depicting the percentage of voters voting for each candidate…some even to the second decimal place…the authors simplified. They simply show which county voted for whom and spared us the percentages. Once the US Open is over, nobody really cares how many points the winner scored throughout the tournament!