Author Archive: Michael

New York Times DataViz: 1.5 Million Missing Black Men

Source: JUSTIN WOLFERS, DAVID LEONHARDT and KEVIN QUEALY, 1.5 Million Missing Black Men, New York Times, The Upshot, April 20, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/20/upshot/missing-black-men.html?abt=0002&abg=1&_r=3.

MMBM1In New York, almost 120,000 black men between the ages of 25 and 54 are missing from everyday life. In Chicago, 45,000 are, and more than 30,000 are missing in Philadelphia. Across the South — from North Charleston, S.C., through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi and up into Ferguson, Mo. — hundreds of thousands more are missing.

They are missing, largely because of early deaths or because they are behind bars. Remarkably, black women who are 25 to 54 and not in jail outnumber black men in that category by 1.5 million, according to an Upshot analysis. For every 100 black women in this age group living outside of jail, there are only 83 black men. Among whites, the equivalent number is 99, nearly parity.

African-American men have long been more likely to be locked up and more likely to die young, but the scale of the combined toll is nonetheless jarring. It is a measure of the deep disparities that continue to afflict black men — disparities being debated after a recent spate of killings by the police — and the gender gap is itself a further cause of social ills, leaving many communities without enough men to be fathers and husbands.

Perhaps the starkest description of the situation is this: More than one out of every six black men who today should be between 25 and 54 years old have disappeared from daily life.

“The numbers are staggering,” said Becky Pettit, a professor of sociology at the University of Texas.

And what is the city with at least 10,000 black residents that has the single largest proportion of missing black men? Ferguson, Mo., where a fatal police shooting last year led to nationwide protests and a Justice Department investigation that found widespread discrimination against black residents. Ferguson has 60 men for every 100 black women in the age group, Stephen Bronars, an economist, has noted.

MMBM2The gap in North Charleston, site of a police shooting this month, is also considerably more severe than the nationwide average, as is the gap in neighboring Charleston. Nationwide, the largest proportions of missing men generally can be found in the South, although there are also many similar areas across the Midwest and in many big Northeastern cities. The gaps tend to be smallest in the West.

Incarceration and early deaths are the overwhelming drivers of the gap. Of the 1.5 million missing black men from 25 to 54 — which demographers call the prime-age years — higher imprisonment rates account for almost 600,000. Almost 1 in 12 black men in this age group are behind bars, compared with 1 in 60 nonblack men in the age group, 1 in 200 black women and 1 in 500 non-black women.

Higher mortality is the other main cause. About 900,000 fewer prime-age black men than women live in the United States, according to the census. It’s impossible to know precisely how much of the difference is the result of mortality, but it appears to account for a big part. Homicide, the leading cause of death for young African-American men, plays a large role, and they also die from heart disease, respiratory disease and accidents more often than other demographic groups, including black women.

MMBM3Several other factors — including military deployment overseas and the gender breakdown of black immigrants — each play only a minor role, census data indicates. The Census Bureau’s undercounting of both African-Americans and men also appears to play a role.

The gender gap does not exist in childhood: There are roughly as many African-American boys as girls. But an imbalance begins to appear among teenagers, continues to widen through the 20s and peaks in the 30s. It persists through adulthood.

MMBM4The disappearance of these men has far-reaching implications. Their absence disrupts family formation, leading both to lower marriage rates and higher rates of childbirth outside marriage, as research by Kerwin Charles, an economist at the University of Chicago, with Ming-Ching Luoh, has shown.

The black women left behind find that potential partners of the same race are scarce, while men, who face an abundant supply of potential mates, don’t need to compete as hard to find one. As a result, Mr. Charles said, “men seem less likely to commit to romantic relationships, or to work hard to maintain them.”

The imbalance has also forced women to rely on themselves — often alone — to support a household. In those states hit hardest by the high incarceration rates, African-American women have become more likely to work and more likely to pursue their education further than they are elsewhere.

The missing-men phenomenon began growing in the middle decades of the 20th century, and each government census over the past 50 years has recorded at least 120 prime-age black women outside of jail for every 100 black men. But the nature of the gap has changed in recent years.

Since the 1990s, death rates for young black men have dropped more than rates for other groups, notes Robert N. Anderson, the chief of mortality statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both homicides and H.I.V.-related deaths, which disproportionately afflict black men, have dropped. Yet the prison population has soared since 1980. In many communities, rising numbers of black men spared an early death have been offset by rising numbers behind bars.

It does appear as if the number of missing black men is on the cusp of declining, albeit slowly. Death rates are continuing to fall, while the number of people in prisons — although still vastly higher than in other countries — has also fallen slightly over the last five years.

But the missing-men phenomenon will not disappear anytime soon. There are more missing African-American men nationwide than there are African-American men residing in all of New York City — or more than in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, Houston, Washington and Boston, combined.

MMBM5More information about this analysis can be found in an article about the methodology.

16 Kentucky Derby Hats for 2015

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Infographic: UFO typologies, 1967

Spotters Guide 1967Source: Bruce Sterling, UFO Typologies, 1967, Tumblr.com, http://brucesterling.tumblr.com/post/83397838150/ufo-typologies-1967.

Vantana Research: Who’s Hot in Analytics and Business Intelligence

Ventana Research recently completed a comprehensive evaluation of analytics and business intelligence products and vendors. Such research is necessary and timely as analytics and business intelligence is now a fast-changing market. Vantana’s Value Index for Analytics and Business Intelligence in 2015 scrutinizes 15 top vendors and their product offerings in seven keyvr_VI_BI_2015_Weighted_Overall categories: Usability, Manageability, Reliability, Capability, Adaptability, Vendor Validation and TCO/ROI. The analysis shows that the top supplier is Information Builders, which qualifies as a Hot vendor and is followed by 10 other Hot vendors: SAP, IBM, MicroStrategy, Oracle, SAS, Qlik, Actuate (now part of OpenText) and Pentaho.

The evaluations drew on Vantana’s research and analysis of vendors’ and products along with their responses to their detailed RFI or questionnaire, their own hands-on experience and the buyer-related findings from their benchmark research on next-generation business intelligence, information optimization and big data analytics. The benchmark research examines analytics and business intelligence from various perspectives to determine organizations’ current and planned use of these technologies and the capabilities they require for successful deployments.

Vantana found that the processes that comprise business intelligence today have expanded beyond standard query, reporting, analysis and publishing capabilities. They now include sourcing and integration of data and at later stages the use of analytics for planning and forecasting and of capabilities utilizing analytics and metrics for collaborative interaction and performance management. Their research on big data analytics finds that new technologies collectively known as big data vr_Big_Data_Analytics_15_new_technologies_enhance_analyticsare influencing the evolution of business intelligence as well; here in-memory systems (used by 50% of participating organizations), Hadoop (42%) and data warehouse appliances (33%) are the most important innovations. In-memory computing in particular has changed BI because it enables rapid processing of even complex models with very large data sets. In-memory computing also can change how users access data through data visualization and incorporate data mining, simulation and predictive analytics into business intelligence systems. Thus the ability of products to work with big data tools figured in their assessments.

In addition, the 2015 Vantana Research Value Index includes assessments of their self-service tools and cloud deployment options. New self-service approaches can enable business users to reduce their reliance on IT to access and use data and analysis. However, their information optimization research shows that this change is slow to proliferate. In four out of five organizations, IT currently is involved in making information available to end users vr_Info_Optimization_01_whos_responsible_for_information_availabilityand remains entrenched in the operations of business intelligence systems.

Similarly, their research, as well as the lack of maturity of the cloud-based products evaluated, shows that organizations are still in the early stages of cloud adoption for analytics and business intelligence; deployments are mostly departmental in scope. Vantana is still exploring these issues further in their benchmark research into data and analytics in the cloud, which will be released in the second quarter of 2015.

The products offered by the five top-rated com­pa­nies in the Value Index provide exceptional functionality and a superior user experi­ence. However, Information Builders stands out, providing an excep­tional user experience and a completely integrated portfolio of data management, predictive analytics, visual discovery and operational intelligence capabilities in a single platform. SAP, in second place, is not far behind, having made significant prog­ress by integrating its Lumira platform into its BusinessObjects Suite; it added pre­dictive analytics capabilities, which led to higher Usability and Capability scores. IBM, MicroStrategy and Oracle, the next three, each provide a ro­bust integrated platform of capabilities. The key differentiator between them and the top two top is that they do not have superior scores in all of the seven categories.

In evaluating products for this Value Index Vantana found some noteworthy innovations in business intelligence. One is Qlik Sense, which has a modern architecture that is cloud-ready and supports responsive design on mobile devices. Another is SAS Visual Analytics, which combines predictive analytics with visual discovery in ways that are a step ahead of others currently in the market. Pentaho’s Automated Data Refinery concept adds its unique Pentaho Data Integration platform to business intelligence for a flexible, well-managed user experience. IBM Watson Analytics uses advanced analytics and VR_AnalyticsandBI_VI_2015natural language processing for an interactive experience beyond the traditional paradigm of business intelligence. Tableau, which led the field in the category of Usability, continues to innovate in the area of user experience and aligning technology with people and process. MicroStrategy’s innovative Usher technology addresses the need for identity management and security, especially in an evolving era in which individuals utilize multiple devices to access information.

The Value Index analysis uncovered notable differences in how well products satisfy the business intelligence needs of employees working in a range of IT and business roles. Vantana’s analysis also found substantial variation in how products provide development, security and collaboration capabilities and role-based support for users. Thus, they caution that similar vendor scores should not be taken to imply that the packages evaluated are functionally identical or equally well suited for use by every organization or for a specific process.

To learn more about this research and to download a free executive summary, click here.

Source: Tony Cosentino, VP and Research Director, Ventana Research, April 22, 2015, http://blog.ventanaresearch.com/2015/04/22/whos-hot-in-analytics-and-business-intelligence/.

DataViz: Famous Logos Look Better Lettered By Hand (Co.DESIGN)

3045394-slide-s-8-famous-logos-look-better-lettered-by-handIn the age of Adobe Illustrator, a sincere, hand-lettered sign or logo is a rare artifact of the past.

But as a student at Auckland University of Technology, designer Sara Marshall redrew 10 famous logos with paintbrushes, markers, and pilot pens. It wasn’t just some fantasy project in which she reimagined Subway and Burger King with flowers and filigree. She meticulously translated these rigid, well-known brands through careful calligraphy. And the results are like an uncanny peek into an alternate universe where computers and printers never came to be, and all branding must be drawn by hand.

The logos are not all perfect, hand-lettered duplicates. Marshall’s FedEx logo looks like a spitting image to the real logo in my mind’s eye, until I load up the real thing and realize, of course, FedEx isn’t drawn in italics. The chasm is even greater with Subway. The real Subway logo is written in all-caps bold italic, with arrows leading in and out of the wordmark. Marshall’s mixes upper and lower case letters, and it ditches the arrows.

3045394-inline-i-2-famous-logos-look-better-lettered-by-handThe remake is a much friendlier logo than Subway’s original. But unless you’re looking side-by-side, there’s a good chance you won’t even notice what’s missing. With the green extrusion, and the mix of white and yellow lettering, Subway still feels like Subway. Marshall’s greatest accomplishment is in picking up on just enough of the original brand essence to make the new versions feel familiar and right.

Despite a relatively positive Internet response to her work since it has been discovered on Behance, Marshall looks back on the project now and sees the imperfections. “It was a really fun project to work on, but something people don’t realize is the time pressure I was under while creating them—there were many sleepless nights and 16- to 20-hour working days,” Marshall says. “There were many changes I really wanted to make to the project as well, but it took off before I had a chance.”

Now, Marshall says she doesn’t have the time to redo any of the work. She’s too busy in her day job—as a professional letterer.

[All Images: Sara Marshall]

Source: Mark Wilson, Famous Logos Look Better Lettered By Hand, Co.DESIGN, Fast Company, April 24,2015, http://www.fastcodesign.com/3045394/famous-logos-look-better-lettered-by-hand?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=codesign-daily&position=1&partner=newsletter&campaign_date=04242015#5.

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DataViz Using Tableau: Another Way of Looking at Graduation Rates

Readers:

Jon BoeckenstedtJon Boeckenstedt (photo, right), who works in Enrollment Management for DePaul University, created this data bursting visualization using Tableau.

Jon’s thought processes on this and why he created the visualization he created are noted below.

What do you think of this visualization and as Jon asks: What do you see in the data?

Best Regards,

Michael

Another Way of Looking at Graduation Rates

Jon saw an article in his Facebook feed about college ROI, although it was called the 50 Best Private Colleges for Earning Your Degree on Time. As is often the case, there was nothing really wrong with the facts of that article: You see a nice little table showing the 50 Colleges with the highest graduation rate.

But it got Jon thinking: What if high graduation rate wasn’t enough?  What if a considerable portion of your freshman class that graduates takes longer than four years to do so? Is that a good deal?  He then created some hypotheticals:

College A: 1000 freshmen, 800 who graduate within four years, 900 who graduate in five, and 950 who graduate in six.  So the four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates are 80%, 90%, and 95%.  But of the 950 who eventually graduate, only 84.2% do so in four years.

College B: 1000 freshmen, 750 who graduate within four years, 775 who graduate in five, and 800 who graduate in six.  So the four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates are 75%, 77.5%, and 80%. Thus, of the 800 who eventually graduate, almost 94% do so in four years.

College C: 1000 freshmen, 550 who graduate within four years, 600 who graduate in five, and 625 who graduate in six.  So the four-, five-, and six-year graduation rates are 55%, 60%, and 62.5%. Of the 625 who eventually graduate, 88% do so in four years.

If you were choosing among these three colleges, which might you choose?  The easy money says you go with College A, the one with the highest graduation rate. College B would be your second choice, and C would be your third.  But what if you are absolutely, positively certain you’ll graduate from the college you choose? College B is first, then College C, then College A.

Data can be tricky. Jon has noted many times in the past that things like graduation rates are really almost inputs, not outputs: If you choose wealthy, well-educated students, you’re going to have higher graduation rates.  It’s a classic case of making a silk purse out of, well, silk.

Jon tried to demonstrate this in the visualization he created below, and he likes the simplicity here.  Each dot is a college (hover over it for details).  They’re in boxes based on the average freshman ACT score across the top, and the percentage of students with Pell along the side.  The dots are colored by four-year graduation rates, and you should see right away the pattern that emerges.  Red dots (top right) tend to be selective colleges with fewer poor students.

But if you want to look at the chance a graduate will finish in four years, use the filter at the bottom right.  Find a number you like, pull the left slider up to it, and see who remains.  (Just a note: Jon is a little suspicious of any number of 100% on this scale, which would mean absolutely no students who graduate take longer than four years to do so.  It might be true, but it’s hard to believe. But he would set the right slider to 99% at the most.)  Jon points out to remember there is a lot of bad IPEDS data out there, so don’t place any bar bets on what you see here.

What do you see? Click on the image below and find out.

Graduation Rates

Infographic: A Look Inside the Star Wars Imperial AT-AT

Star Wars Trailer 2

Click on image to watch the trailer

Readers:

So, this week is the big Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, California. I was not able to attend, but I wanted to find some excuse to blog the latest trailer from the upcoming Star Wars Episode 7: The Force Awakens.

I found this great infographic that shows the insides of a Star Wars Imperial AT-AT. This is from Doug Osborne from March 1, 2011 on Geek.com. The AT-AT is one of my favorite vehicles from the best of the Star Wars movies, The Empire Strikes Back.

Enjoy and May The Force Be With You.

Michael

ATAT

DataViz Using Tableau: A History of Crayola Colors

Readers:

Here is a great dataviz from Tableau Public.

It was created by Stephen Wagner and was originally published on Analytics Wagner.

Stephen Wagner explores the evolution of Crayola colors, from 1903 until now.

Click on a crayon in the “Box of Colors” to learn the name of the color, how long it has been in production, and any additional facts.

Enjoy!

Michael

History of Crayola Colors

Architizer.com: The Future Of Architecture in 100 Buildings

3044508-slide-s-12-the-future-of-architecture-glass-newtown-creek-wastewater-treatment-plant-by-ennead-architects-

Photo (above): Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant by Ennead Architects
JEFF GOLDBERG ESTO

100 Breathtaking Buildings That Represent The Future Of Architecture

Where you’ll be living soon, from glass tree houses to inflatable buildings.

What’s the future of architecture? Ask any architect and you’ll probably get a different answer. But the future proposed by architect Marc Kushner, also the founder of Architizer.com, is an attractive one. Breathing buildings, treehouse-like structures—they’re all there.

Kushner spoke about his vision, laid out in a new book called The Future of Architecture in 100 Buildings, at a lunch during this year’s TED conference in Vancouver. During the lunch, he echoed many of the themes from his TED talk in 2014—namely, that we, the general public, will shape that future.

3044508-inline-i-1-the-future-of-architecture-glass-coverthefutureofarchitecturemarckushnerted

According to Kushner, social media is giving people permission to experiment more with buildings. On Facebook and Twitter, onlookers can engage with architects during the construction phase of a building, providing potentially valuable (or just annoying) feedback.

3044508-slide-s-10-the-future-of-architecture-glass-marckushnerheadshotbynoahkalina

For his book, Kushner picked his 100 favorite buildings. “I chose to ask questions like, ‘Can a building stand on its tiptoes?’ says Kushner. One place in the book, the Encuentro Guadalupe eco-hotel in Mexico, looks like it can; the hotel’s buildings sit on tiny stilts around a hillside.

Another of Kushner’s favorites is the Ark Nova, a temporary concert space. It was built after Japan’s disastrous earthquake and tsunami and can be transported on trucks and then unfurled and blown up. The end result looks like a hybrid spaceship and jello mold.

Check out more of Kushner’s favorites in the photos below.

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Source: ARIEL SCHWARTZ100 Breathtaking Buildings That Represent The Future Of Architecture, Fast Company, Co.Exist, April 8, 2015, http://www.fastcoexist.com/3044508/100-breathtaking-buildings-that-represent-the-future-of-architecture?utm_source=mailchimp&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=coexist-daily&position=1&partner=newsletter&campaign_date=04082015#11

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