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Data Visualisation - a selection of my favourites Sept 2015 ... by Mina Midtgarden

Category : Data Visualisation
First of all, hello everyone! This is my first blog post for Capgemini UK but most definitely not the first time I have wanted to write a blog about data visualisation! For me, data visualisation is an excellent way of communication information and data. In this blog post I will go through my personal favourites from the last month. Some are informative, some are just plain good at answering the questions asked whilst others are aesthetically pleasing.

The informative

With the recent launch of Apple Music I came upon the following infographic from informationisbeautiful.net, comparing major music streaming services according to the artist revenue per play, although not mentioning the monthly subscription fee that might help explain the number of users. It gives us an alternative view on what each service can provide to an artist, because clearly if you want highest payout per play you should go for Tidal, but if you want payout sooner rather than later you should aim to publish your music on YouTube or Spotify. I like this infographic because it is so easy to find insight and it generates interest, because who does not want to see the below again when data starts coming in for Apple Music?


It is almost impossible to write a blog without mentioning social media- it is just such a good topic for data visualisation! Forrester recently published their report on social media trends, showing that Instagram is one of the fastest growing apps on the market and generates more engagement than the other apps out there. On the back of that, Dan Zarrella has recently published a post on the “Science of Instagram”. Surprisingly, what was found was that no filter actually had the highest likes-per-follower and, not so surprisingly, the more tags you use the more likely you are to get more likes.

Answering questions

Keeping with social media, a down side can be the limited amount of data available, as most apps put restrictions on the number of calls you can do through APIs. Andy Kriebel from The Information Lab recently published an interesting take on this issue, looking at how many charts can be created from just two numbers: number of pictures liked on instagram versus number of posts shared on Twitter. It is most definitely worth a look to get some ideas about how to present limited amounts of data whilst still keeping to the point. .


And here is a question for you, that you might have never thought you wanted answering: “What is the demographics of laughter on the web?”. Well, as is the thing with the web, someone found out! Credit to Facebook Research who found the answer using good old statistics. Seems like the “younger” folks out there prefers to use emoji and haha compared to us in our late twenties who would rather use hehe and lol. Interestingly, by looking at the distributions of the shapes we can see that lol is the only laughter type with a more flat distribution, meaning it is used across more age groups than the other types.

Aesthetically pleasing

Now for an animated data visualisation based on internet attacks around the world, in real time! Norse Corp has released their visualisation of internet attacks evidently taking inspiration from computer games with arrows going back and forth across the global map. It is most definitely worth a couple of minutes of your time, or maybe you find yourself staring at for longer than you really ought to, like me...



Although the last one this month is based on US data, I see how this could be useful for a trans-Atlantic holiday. The last highlight of the month is one based on which flight will get you somewhere the quickest and is an interactive map from FiveThirtyEight. Say you want to see how flights into New York (JFK) compares to one another, or which airline will take you from A to B in the shortest amount of time- it is all in there! Not only is it informative, answers all those important questions in life but it is also aesthetically pleasing using colour coordination and geolocation data to convey the result!

About the author

Cathy Buchanan
Cathy Buchanan
Working in Operational Research for over ten years, as a consultant my goal is to help clients understand the value that data brings to their organisations. Before consultancy, I spent 5 years working in call centre design and am now very interested in promoting “the contact centre of the future”, utilising & combining multiple customer channels efficiently. My areas of specialisation are Optimisation, Simulation and Data Visualisation.

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