Infographic: Happy Diwali!

Readers:

INDIAN GIRL LIGHTS A DEEPAWALI LAMP IN AHMEDABADWhile called the “Festival of Lights,” Diwali is most importantly a day to become aware of one’s “inner light.” In Hindu philosophy there is an idea of “Atman,” something beyond the body and mind which is pure, infinite and eternal. Today is a celebration of “good” versus “evil”; A day when the light of higher knowledge dispels ignorance. With this awakening comes compassion and joy.

The background story and practices vary region to region. Many people celebrate by lighting fireworks and sharing sweets and candies. Diwali is a holiday celebrated across a vast array of countries and religions. It is celebrated in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji, by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists.

This informative infographic is from 2012, but I like the information about Diwali it provides and thought of sharing.

Namaste!

Michael

diwali_infographic_final1

Source: Metal Gaia, Happy Diwali!, November 13, 2012, http://metal-gaia.com/2012/11/13/happy-diwali/.

DataViz: The Most Common Jobs For The Rich, Middle Class And Poor (NPR)

NPR has written a lot about how income has changed (or not) for the rich, middle class and poor in the U.S. In the past, however, they have written much less about what the rich, middle class and poor actually do for work.

To remedy that, NPR made this graph. It shows the 10 most popular jobs in each income bracket.

Job Ladder

Notes
Data from 2012, adjusted for inflation.

If you click on each job, you can see where it appears in different income brackets.

Job Ladder - Truck Drivers

The jobs here look shockingly familiar. It’s like a Richard Scarry model of the labor market, with people working jobs ripped right out of a storybook. This is the kind of work that needs to get done in every city in America. It shows that, at least nationally, the conventional idea of what people do for a living still holds.

Looking across incomes and rankings there are a couple of interesting things to note:

  • It’s good to be the boss: Being a manager is the most common job from the 70th percentile up to the 99th.
  • Doctors and lawyers are only found in the top two brackets. (There’s a reason our grandmothers wanted us to go to med school or law school.)
  • Sales supervisors are well-represented across all groups. It’s a broad job title that applies to people making as little as $12,000 a year all the way up to six figures.

The data come from the American Community Survey using individual income from wages and salaries. We restricted the sample to adults ages 25 to 65 and who worked at least three months in the past year.

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References: Quoctrung Bui, The Most Common Jobs For The Rich, Middle Class And Poor, NPR.com, October 16, 201412:50 PM ET, http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/10/16/356176018/the-most-popular-jobs-for-the-rich-middle-class-and-poor.

Infographic: The Best Music Festivals in the U.S.

Ticketcity has created an infographic comparing the attendance, ticket prices, number of artists present, and locations for Coachella, Austin City Limits, Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, and South By Southwest – which one are you attending?

Source: Laura Baker-Finch, [INFOGRAPHIC] The Big 5 US Festivals, Cultvora.com, March 29, 2013, http://cultivora.com/coverage/view/infographic-the-big-5-us-festivals-coachella-bonnaroo-austin-city-limits-acl-lollapalooza-sxsw.

Best of the Music Festivals

 

Dataviz: A True West Moment, Bob Boze Bell and The Stagecoach Era

Bob Boze Bell - The Stagecoach Era

bob4I’ve mentioned Bob Boze Bell (photo, right) and his A True West Moment column that appears in our Sunday The Arizona Republic before. As I said then, one of my favorite things to do in life is read the Sunday newspaper. I have been doing this since I was around 10 years old. I always read the comics first, but that has diminished as most of my favorite comic strips are long since retired. However, in The Arizona Republic, one of the first things I read every Sunday is A True West Moment by the legendary Bob Boze Bell.

True West Magazine Nov 2014In 1999, Boze took over the legendary True West Magazine. Launched in 1953 by the legendary Joe “Hosstail” Small in Austin, Texas, True West is a popular history publication with a loyal, core readership, and the oldest, continuously published Western Americana publication in the world. Thanks to the proliferation of TV Westerns in the late 1950s and early 1960s, the magazine enjoyed broad circulation (200,000+ newsstand sales). But, as the market and his health started to decline, Joe Small sold out in 1974 and over the next decade, the magazine bounced around the Midwest, finally settling in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Unfortunately, the Oklahoma owners did not have the capital to stay current with the changing times and the magazine began to lose significant market share, as newer, slicker titles such as Cowboys & Indians and American Cowboy came into the marketplace. By mid-1999, the publication, along with three other titles, was for sale, and the current owners came to the rescue. True West Publishing (including assets and trademarked names of True West, Old West, Frontier Times) moved to Cave Creek, Arizona, in October 1999. [SOURCE]

In 2003, the magazine celebrated its 50th anniversary. The year also marked the incorporation of True West Publishing and an increase in the magazine’s frequency to 10 issues. True West now also publishes an annual shopping guide called the Best of the West Source Book.

Kimball Group Retiring on December 31, 2015

Readers:

I received the following e-mail from the Kimball Group. Thought I would share.

Best regards,

Michael

Kimball Group Retiring on December 31, 2015

Kimball GroupDuring the past three decades, we have worked with hundreds of clients, written thousands of pages, taught tens of thousands of students, and flown millions of miles. It’s been incredibly rewarding and challenging, but it will soon be time to move on. The members of the Kimball Group will retire at the end of December 2015.

We wanted to give you plenty of notice while there’s still time to engage us or enroll in our classes (or both).

  • Kimball University Public Classes: Several Dimensional Modeling and DW/BI Lifecycle classes are scheduled for the remainder of this year. We’ll announce our 2015 “final tour” in mid-December.
  • Kimball University Private Onsite Classes: Check out our onsite classes and contact Margy if you have questions.
  • Kimball Group Consulting: Check out our consulting offerings and contact Bob if you have questions.

Stay tuned for more details during the next several months.

We have learned a tremendous amount from our clients, students and readers through the years and are extremely grateful for your business, intelligence, wit and kindness. We hope to see as many of you as we can during the coming year as we approach retirement.

Thanks and best regards,

Ralph, Julie, Margy, Bob, Joy and Nancy

Bryan Brandow: Triggering Cubes & Extracts using Tableau or MicroStrategy

trigger-720x340

bryan-headshots-004Bryan Brandow (photo, right), a Data Engineering Manager for a large social media company, is one of my favorite bloggers out their in regards to thought leadership and digging deep into the technical aspects of Tableau and MicroStrategy. Bryan just blogged about triggering cubes and extracts on his blog. Here is a brief synopsis.

One of the functions that never seems to be included in BI tools is an easy way to kick off an application cache job once your ETL is finished.  MicroStrategy’s Cubes and Tableau’s Extracts both rely on manual or time based refresh schedules, but this leaves you in a position where your data will land in the database and you’ll either have a large gap before the dashboard is updated or you’ll be refreshing constantly and wasting lots of system resources.  They both come with command line tools for kicking off a refresh, but then it’s up to you to figure out how to link your ETL jobs to call these commands.  What follows is a solution that works in my environment and will probably work for yours as well.  There are of course a lot of ways for your ETL tool to tell your BI tool that it’s time to refresh a cache, but this is my take on it.  You won’t find a download-and-install software package here since everyone’s environment is different, but you will find ample blueprints and examples for how to build your own for your platform and for whatever BI tool you use (from what I’ve observed, this setup is fairly common).  Trigger was first demoed at the Tableau Conference 2014.  You can jump to the Trigger demo here.

I recommend you click on the link above and give his blog post a full read. It is well worth it.

Best regards,

Michael

DataViz as Maps: With Huge Search Area Mapped, MH370 Hunt Resuming

© AP Photo/The Australian Transport Safety Bureau

In this map provided on Sept. 24, 2014, by The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, details are presented in the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the southern Indian Ocean. After a four-month hiatus, the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is expected to resume Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014, in a desolate stretch of the Indian Ocean, with searchers lowering new equipment deep beneath the waves in a bid to finally solve one of the world’s most perplexing aviation mysteries.

BB7nRae

KRISTEN GELINEAU, Associated Press

SYDNEY — After a four-month hiatus, the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is about to resume in a desolate stretch of the Indian Ocean, with searchers lowering new equipment deep beneath the waves in a bid to finally solve one of the world’s most perplexing aviation mysteries.

The GO Phoenix, the first of three ships that will spend up to a year hunting for the wreckage far off Australia’s west coast, is expected to arrive in the search zone Sunday, though weather could delay its progress. Crews will use sonar, video cameras and jet fuel sensors to scour the water for any trace of the Boeing 777, which disappeared March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.

The search has been on hold for months so crews could map the seabed in the search zone, about 1,800 kilometers (1,100 miles) west of Australia. The 60,000-square kilometer (23,000-square mile) search area lies along what is known as the “seventh arc” — a stretch of ocean where investigators believe the aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed, based largely on an analysis of transmissions between the plane and a satellite.

Given that the hunt has already been peppered with false alarms — from underwater signals wrongly thought to be from the plane’s black boxes to possible debris fields that turned out to be trash — officials are keen to temper expectations.

“We’re cautiously optimistic; cautious because of all the technical and other challenges we’ve got, but optimistic because we’re confident in the analysis,” said Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the agency leading the search. “But it’s just a very big area that we’re looking at.”

That area was largely unknown to scientists before the mapping process began in May. Two ships have been surveying the seabed using on-board multibeam sonar devices, similar to a fish-finder. The equipment sends out a series of signals that determine the shape and hardness of the terrain below, allowing officials to create three-dimensional maps of the seabed.

Those maps are considered crucial to the search effort because the seafloor is riddled with deep crevasses, mountains and volcanoes, which could prove disastrous to the pricey, delicate search equipment that will be towed just 100 meters (330 feet) above the seabed. Two of the search ships will be using underwater search vessels worth around $1.5 million each.

“You can imagine if you’re towing a device close to the seafloor, you want to know if you’re about to run into a mountain,” said Stuart Minchin, chief of the environmental geoscience division at Geoscience Australia, which has been analyzing the mapping data.

The terrain isn’t the only challenge. The area is prone to brutal weather, and is so remote that it takes vessels up to six days to get there from Australia. Water depths are also tricky: They range from 600 meters (2,000 feet) to 6.5 kilometers (4 miles). That’s about the deepest the sonar equipment can go, Dolan said.

“In all sorts of ways we’re operating towards the limits of the technology that is available,” Dolan said.

With the mapping nearly complete, the GO Phoenix, provided by Malaysia’s government, will begin hunting in an area considered the likeliest crash site, based on an analysis of satellite data gleaned from the plane’s jet engine transmitter and a series of unanswered phone calls officials on the ground made to the plane.

The other two vessels, the Equator and Discovery, provided by Dutch contractor Fugro, are expected to join the hunt later this month.

Malaysia and Australia are each contributing around $60 million to fund the search.

The ships will use towfish, underwater vessels equipped with sonar that create images of the ocean floor. The towfish, which transmit data in real time, are dragged slowly through the water by thick cables up to 10 kilometers (6 miles) long. If something of interest is spotted on the sonar, the towfish will be hauled up and fitted with a video camera, then lowered back down.

The towfish are also equipped with sensors that can detect the presence of jet fuel, although that would likely be a longshot.

David Gallo, who helped lead the search for Air France Flight 447 after it crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, said that even if the fuel tanks had survived the impact, strong currents in the search area probably would have dispersed any leaking fuel by now. Still, he said, it’s worth a try.

“In some of the steep rugged areas any kind of additional information would be useful to help peer into the dark shadows,” Gallo, an oceanographer with the U.S.-based Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, said in an e-mail.

There will be between 25 and 35 people on each ship, and crews will likely work around the clock. The ships can stay at the search site for up to 30 days before they must head back to shore to refuel and resupply.

“The most efficient way is to keep going,” Dolan said. “But you have to be careful with the well-being of your crews, to be sure you’re not pushing them too hard.”

The work will be painstaking. The ships can move no faster than 11 kph (7 mph) while towing the sonar equipment. If a vessel needs to change direction, the crew must first pull the towfish up enough that it won’t fall to the seafloor during the turn — a process that takes hours.

“None of this happens very quickly,” Dolan said.

Irene Burrows, whose son Rodney Burrows was on board Flight 370 with his wife, Mary, believes the plane will be found. Not knowing her son’s fate has made moving forward a near impossibility.

“We’re in limbo,” she said. “It will be good to know where it is — I think that’s what is important to all the family.”

Search officials are acutely aware of the sentiment.

“We’re doing this primarily because there are families of 239 people who deserve an answer,” Dolan said. “We will give it every possible effort and we think our efforts will be really good — but there’s no guarantee of success.”

Infographic: Disney’s Star Wars Commander Mobile Game Spreads Across the Galaxy

sw-graphic

Are you playing, Disney’s Star Wars: Commander mobile game? No? You might soon be in the minority. According to Disney Interactive, the game has now been downloaded five million times since it launched on August 21. To celebrate this milestone, they created the rather cool infographic below to give you a look at what percentage of gamers choose to play as the evil Empire versus the Rebel Alliance and how that varies country to country.

Here are some fun facts about the game play so far:

  • Five million players have now joined the war (downloaded Star Wars: Commander since its launch on August 21st).
  • With more than 57% of its players representing the Empire, Russia is one of the strongest Empire strongholds. Other nations that have fallen to the Emperor include Austria, Germany, Finland and the Ukraine.
  • India stands out as a strong member of the Rebel Alliance, as are most countries across South America and Africa.
  • The United States is nearly unanimous in its following of the Dark Side, with the single exception of North Dakota. The force is strong in North Dakota.
  • Half a billion troops have been deployed across both factions.

Star Wars: Commander is a free-to-play combat strategy game where fans will join either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire to recruit and lead an unstoppable force across the Star Wars galaxy.

Star Wars: Commander features the full array of vehicles, weapons and technology from the Star Wars universe. Players who rally to the Rebellion will call upon iconic heroes such as Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia to support missions for justice and freedom, while leaders of the Imperial forces will command AT-ATs, TIE fighters and Stormtroopers to gain control of the galaxy. Star Wars: Commander also offers an original Star Wars storyline set within the Galactic Civil War of Episodes IV ­ VI, where commanders determine if it’s the Empire’s strength and relentlessness or the Rebellion’s heroism and resourcefulness that will win the war.

The game is free to download on iPhone and iPad.

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Source: John Frost, Disney’s Star Wars: Commander mobile game spreads across the galaxy, The Disney Blog, September 12, 2014, http://thedisneyblog.com/2014/09/12/disneys-star-wars-commander-mobile-game-spreads-across-the-galaxy/.

Star-Wars-Commander-infographic

Stephen Few: Now You See It

Portland

Readers:

Stephen_Few2I was in Portland, Oregon last week attending three data visualization workshops by industry expert, Stephen Few. I was very excited to be sitting at the foot of the master for three days and soak in all of this great dataviz information.

Last Thursday, was the third workshop, Now You See It which is based on Steve’s best-selling book (see photo below).

To not give away too much of what Steve is teaching in the workshops, I have decided to discuss one of our workshop topics, human perceptual and cognitive strengths.

You can find future workshops by Steve on his website, Perceptual Edge.

Best Regards,

Michael

Now You See It

 

Designed for Humans

Good visualizations and good visualization tools are carefully designed to take advantage of human perceptual and cognitive strengths and to augment human abilities that are weak. If the goal is to count the number of circles, this visualization isn’t well designed. It is difficult to remember what you have and have not counted.

Quickly, tell me how many blue circles you see below.

Design for Humans 1

The visualization below, shows the same number of circles, however, is well designed for the counting task. Because the circles are grouped into small sets of five each, it is easy to remember which groups have and have not been counted, easy to quickly count the number of circles in each group, and easy to discover with little effort that each of the five groups contains the same number of circles (i.e., five), resulting in a total count of 25 circles.

Design for Humans 2

The arrangement below is even better yet.

Design for Humans 3

Information visualization makes possible an ideal balance between unconscious perceptual and conscious cognitive processes. With the proper tools, we can shift much of the analytical process from conscious processes in the brain to pre-attentive processes of visual perception, letting our eyes do what they do extremely well.

Co.Design Infographic of the Day: Mankind’s Greatest Architectural Achievements Since Prehistory

3036227-poster-p-1-mankinds-architectural-achievements-since-prehistory-visualized

Pop Chart Lab’s latest infographic charts the most significant works of architecture since 4,800 B.C.

Yet another creation has rolled off the powerhouse infographics assembly line over at Pop Chart Lab, and this time, the indefatigable taxonomizers of alcohols and famous quotes have turned their attention to works of architecture.

The Schematic of Structures organizes what the designers describe as “90 eminent edifices erected and perfected throughout history.” Arranged by height, the infographic lines up some of the greatest works envisioned and built by man since prehistory, from the Neolithic Cairn of Barnenez and the Parthenon to more modern creations like London’s Gherkin and the Burj Khalifa. The White House even makes an appearance.

3036227-inline-i-1-mankinds-architectural-achievements-since-prehistory-visualized

Pop Chart Lab

Designed in imitation of a blueprint, the infographic is expansive in scope and information (if not extraordinarily innovative in execution). The buildings are presented along a simple grid design, and drawn in two different scales (so as to allow the 2,722-foot-tall Burj Khalifa to appear on the same poster as the 25-foot-tall Stonehenge). Along with an illustration of each structure, the poster includes the location and approximate date of construction, as well as its primary architectural style.

Pre-order the poster here for $23.

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Source: Shaunacy Ferro, Mankind’s Greatest Architectural Achievements Since Prehistory, Co.Design, Fast Company, September 24, 2014, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3036227/infographic-of-the-day/mankinds-greatest-architectural-achievements-since-prehistory?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=codesign-daily&position=1&partner=newsletter.

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