Time to take my charting to the z-rd dimension–bubble plots and heatmaps

I’ve been really trying to take my data visualization skills to the next level.  Some outlets I’ve been experimenting with include: heatmaps and bubble plots. 

In working with heatmaps, the data I’ve been visualizing includes trends of things like monthly utilization and such, where it is important for the consumer to absorb trends, and relative values.  While I am still in search of good step-by-step tutorials and texts to help me along down that path–I’ve found Chapter 8 of Hrishi V. Mittal’s R Graph Cookbook a decent source in this regard (http://www.amazon.com/R-Graph-Cookbook-Hrishi-Mittal/dp/1849513066).  In addition, the flowing data blog has a most excellent step-by-step (the consiceness and clarity of that blog, just nudged me to reward his work with a purchase of his text at amazon- http://www.amazon.com/Visualize-This-FlowingData-Visualization-ebook/dp/B005CCT19M/ref=kinw_dp_ke).

With bubble charts, it’s all about going beyond visualizing a table of numbers and truly visualizing the relationships of three separate elements of quantification.  For my needs it would be something like what were total sales last year, this year (in dollars) and total utiliation this year (in units) OR over the last year, what are total sales ($), how many unique members were using, and what is utilization in total claims.  In terms of bubble charts, I’ve found an excellent step-by-step–also from the Flowing Data blog (http://flowingdata.com/2010/11/23/how-to-make-bubble-charts/), which I intend to give a whack today!

…on to take my plotting to z-rd base!


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