Experimenting with Protovis

6 September 2010

A couple of weeks ago I gave a talk on using graphics in R. During the question session, someone asked whether I had tried using Protovis, a javascript data visualisation library being developed at Stanford. It was an easy question to answer: no! However, a bit of subsequent investigation revealed that Protovis has been developed […]

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The Mule goes SURFing

30 July 2010

A month ago I posted about “SURF”, the newly-established Sydney R user forum (R being an excellent open-source statistics tool). Shortly after publishing that post, I attended the inaugural forum meeting. While we waited for attendees to arrive, a few people introduced themselves, explaining why they were interested in R and how much experience they […]

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Graphing using R

17 May 2010
R Logo

Long-time readers of the Stubborn Mule will know that charts are a regular feature here. Almost all of these charts were produced using the R statistical software package which, in my view, produces far superior results to the most commonly used graphing tool: Excel. As a community service to help rid the world of horrible […]

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Gigabang for your buck

1 May 2010

The Age and the Herald published an extremely junky chart about broadband plans that hides some anomalies in the data and provides a valuable lesson on the importance of good charting technique.

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The Mule trips up

21 April 2010

In my last post, I fell into a common trap when dealing with financial time-series data: I did not adjust for inflation. This post fixes that by looking at growth in “real” personal consumption in the US.

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Pyramid Perversion – More Junk Charts

12 March 2010

While it may be very tempting to use impressive-looking 3D charts to show off your data, the results can be extremely misleading. A look at a pair of “food pyramids” highlights the problem with pyramid charts.

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Junk Charts #3 – US Business Lending

23 February 2010

Clusterstock’s “Chart of the Day” has a chart showing business lending “falling like a knife”. But closer examination of the chart reveals that it is in fact quite misleading.

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Deceptive Charts #2

20 November 2009

Last month I wrote about the dangers of secondary axes, but even charts with a single axis can be deceiving. I have been reflecting on this after reading Jon Peltier’s critique of Microsoft’s “professional” charting tutorials earlier this week. One of the charts Peltier takes issue with is a column chart which has the value […]

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Hot and Dry Days Ahead for Australia

13 November 2009

Earlier this month, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology released the October figure for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI). It showed a precipitous plunge of almost 20 points down to -14.6. Just how significant a drop this is can be seen in the chart below, which shows the distribution of monthly changes in the SOI going […]

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Petrol Price Update

21 October 2009

Oil prices have been heading up, but so has the Australian dollar. So, petrol prices in Sydney for October will have fallen since September.

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