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Tim2

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Posts: 57
Reply with quote  #16 
I too like the absence/tardy graph. Don't seed the need for listing these values too.
jlbriggs

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Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #17 
A few thoughts

The good:

1) the layout is very clean.  It's easy to look across rows and see what applies to who. 
Breaking it up by grade level helps scan the page easily as well.

2) the distribution on the top right is much more clear in this format.
The key point of the chart is how this class compares to other groups, not how those other groups compare to each other, and that point is easily viewed in this manner.
I would rearrange the list of 4 comparison values to the left of it into a single column, however, or plot them as a simple dot plot (it's almost there already, and would give a better visual comparison without requiring much, if any, additional space)

3) Reducing the clutter on the left side associated with the various displays of grades is helpful
4) The absences chart intrigues me.  Not quite sure how I feel about it.  Confused as to what lines up and lines down mean...
Although Stephen has argued the opposite, I personally feel that a simple number, or a heat map matrix, would suffice here.
I think that a time line to view patterns would be better suited for a drill down detail page, which only needs to be viewed if the number of occurrences warrants further investigation.

What could be improved:

1) the dual bar on the bullet graph gives an inordinate amount of focus to last year's grade.

2) the red lines on the bullet graphs are unnecessary. The pattern formed by the intersection of the measure and the target highlights very clearly whether a target has been met or not - it's the whole point of the format.  Seeing the gap of whitespace between the end of the bar and the target line is a clear visual indicator that doesn't require more visual complication.

3) We still have the red/green thing going...

4) in the column preceding each sparkline, I am confused by the division sign....  I assume those numbers give the low/high of the chart, but it is telling me, in Bae Kim's case, to divide 46 by 71.  Should it perhaps be [46:71] instead?
The points on the sparklines are additional unneeded clutter.  A line or range for the target would be more effective, IMO.
I'll leave the discussion of sparkline scaling to the other thread ;)

5) The charts on the right leave me a little unclear as well.  I don't understand what the top one is showing at all.
The bottom two, I also assume are time lines, but I am still a little unclear what's what.











danz

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Posts: 181
Reply with quote  #18 
Jim,

Thank you for your time, very useful info in your comments.

"Sparklines.
 I like your original implementation better, because it’s easier to track the high / low numbers to their values in the sparkline. It’s similar to Tufte’s financial format where he uses red and blue numbers to reference red and blue dots on the sparkline."
They are very effective in first solution because they were alone. In the second one I tried to put 2 sparklines for current term assignments and for 5 years term. I found the history less important then present so I removed any dots there. And is true, red-blue combination together with gray lines work so good together.

"Abbreviations. I find these disorienting -- LaSc, Lt, Ab, Ta, R, Rp, D, Dp – and difficult to remember when returning to the dashboard. I might delete the absence / tardy numbers, replace the discipline columns with a graphic, and find a way to spell out LaSc (which I assume is last score)."
I found the abbreviation quite difficult to follow as well. Just could not find a better approach. Still looking for a suggestion to have an effective abbreviation. LaSc was the worse choice there ;)


"Absence/Tardy Graph. This works for me. More concise than a strip plot. "
I consider this the most visible approach. I tried with WinLoss like graph, area, dots. None worked as effective as this. Color also helps, it gives a sharp contrast. About the strip plot I made my own comments on the winning solution.

"Right column. The graphs in this column confuse me, especially the top chart. I think the bottom charts are timelines. Maybe an x-axis label would help clarify (and maybe a line graph). "
All three right charts are order on the same way current goal + current score. So they all are correlated through the same order. Top chart shows how the students perform: average of the assignments by comparison with the grade range goal. Looks for me an interesting overview. The bottom 2 charts were just self scaled stacked bars charts of the other metrics in the same order. For me was just the principle. Any other order for not labeled students would fit just fine. 

Overall, did u notice any improvement considering both proposals? :)
 
danz

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Posts: 181
Reply with quote  #19 
jlbriggs.

Thank you for your detailed comment. Is very helpful for me.

"1) the layout is very clean.  It's easy to look across rows and see what applies to who.  

Breaking it up by grade level helps scan the page easily as well."
I use our application to build this dashboard, but here is something I could not do it easily using the current implementation. I am also the programmer of the application, so it will be available one day..


"2) the distribution on the top right is much more clear in this format.
The key point of the chart is how this class compares to other groups, not how those other groups compare to each other, and that point is easily viewed in this manner.
I would rearrange the list of 4 comparison values to the left of it into a single column, however, or plot them as a simple dot plot (it's almost there already, and would give a better visual comparison without requiring much, if any, additional space)"
I do listen other opinions :) Yes, is more effective. For the 4 median values comparison was so difficult to find an aesthetic way of displaying them, so I gave up just by lisitng them. Most of the conclusions come from the graph, don't they? 

3) Reducing the clutter on the left side associated with the various displays of grades is helpful

4) The absences chart intrigues me.  Not quite sure how I feel about it.  Confused as to what lines up and lines down mean...
Although Stephen has argued the opposite, I personally feel that a simple number, or a heat map matrix, would suffice here.
I think that a time line to view patterns would be better suited for a drill down detail page, which only needs to be viewed if the number of occurrences warrants further investigation.
The graph is the most effective one I saw for time representation of absences and tardies. This scales so well in such of small space. As for the meaning of it, read it in this way: any "noise" from a linear behavior shows a peak either absences or tardy days. My previous implementation used a heat like map for all the rest of the numbers not related to the math performance. I just tried to add the time graph evolution as Stephen sustained that that info is useful. 

What could be improved:

1) the dual bar on the bullet graph gives an inordinate amount of focus to last year's grade. 
Does a lighter color do a better job?

2) the red lines on the bullet graphs are unnecessary. The pattern formed by the intersection of the measure and the target highlights very clearly whether a target has been met or not - it's the whole point of the format.  Seeing the gap of whitespace between the end of the bar and the target line is a clear visual indicator that doesn't require more visual complication. 
I think I will change that, I was also thinking is a bit too much red ... However, being the most important criteria, I had the feeling I had to see those red lines.

3) We still have the red/green thing going...
Not that much, you have to admit. I still do not like the idea of ignoring good performers. However, they are so few ...

4) in the column preceding each sparkline, I am confused by the division sign....  I assume those numbers give the low/high of the chart, but it is telling me, in Bae Kim's case, to divide 46 by 71.  Should it perhaps be [46:71] instead?
I found comma sign not that effective as ... dedicated interval sign. It just looked for me that this sign performs better then comma, used mostly as an usual counter separator.

The points on the sparklines are additional unneeded clutter.  A line or range for the target would be more effective, IMO.
Counting them might give a quantitative information of what is good and what is bad, no?

I'll leave the discussion of sparkline scaling to the other thread ;)
I had my comments there as well. Scaling with the right range comparison just does a better job. Don't you think?


5) The charts on the right leave me a little unclear as well.  I don't understand what the top one is showing at all.
The bottom two, I also assume are time lines, but I am still a little unclear what's what.

All three right charts are order on the same way: current goal + current score. So they are all correlated through the same order. Top chart shows how the students perform: average of the assignments by comparison with the grade range goal. Looks for me an interesting overview. The bottom 2 charts were just self scaled stacked bars charts of the other metrics in the same order. For me was just the principle. Any other order for not labeled students would fit just fine. Idea was to have the three conclusion ( also color related) for three main aspects: performance, absences and discipline. 


Overall I wanted to adjust my dashboard based on the comments I saw here. They share common ideas, some are new, some are just corrections. Eventually, improvement matters the most. In case is any :)...
matthieu

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #20 
Regarding this specific problem,

Quote:
in the second one I tried to put 2 sparklines for current term assignments and for 5 years term. I found the history less important then present so I removed any dots there.


I had a different approach : 
  • I used sparkline for this year assignement as they are more important and deserve more space
  • I plotted a dot for each standardized score, but ...
    • on the same X axis, to compresse the footprint
    • using a bright color for the most recent one and light grey for the oldest one
    • the y axis is the same as the sparkline to ease comparison : 
  • The full range of possible score is visible so you can compare a sparkline with another.



You can see more on my proposal on this forum's entry





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Matthieu
jlbriggs

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Posts: 190
Reply with quote  #21 
Danz -
"
4) in the column preceding each sparkline, I am confused by the division sign....  I assume those numbers give the low/high of the chart, but it is telling me, in Bae Kim's case, to divide 46 by 71.  Should it perhaps be [46:71] instead?
I found comma sign not that effective as ... dedicated interval sign. It just looked for me that this sign performs better then comma, used mostly as an usual counter separator."

Not sure I understand.  Perhaps it is a difference caused by different use of the symbol internationally...?
The symbol you used is a division symbol, which literally makes the text read "46 divided by 71", and is certain to cause confusion.


danz

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Posts: 181
Reply with quote  #22 
You are right. Never thought about it. I realize that is a mistake from me only after I looked up for "division sign". Even if we use this sign in the sense I said before, does not excuse me for using a sign which can be misinterpreted. However, I consider myself quite careful with details, but I have to admit that this time you have a point.
cherdarchuk

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Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #23 
I really like the absence/tardy charts you created danz.  They are easy to read and compact.  Nice work.
danz

Registered:
Posts: 181
Reply with quote  #24 
Thank you to everybody who made comments on my dashboards.

I still have several thoughts to be added on this topic. I put them here as a possible interest for others as well.

1. Are the bullets as were designed in the first column effective for comparisons? 
2. Are two or more sparklines next to each other, with similar values, a good practice? 
3. Are they the dots a good practice for the line charts? Especially when they do not represent min/max/start/end? 
4. Less colors is always a better choice?
5. For a non trained eye, how many techniques are ... too many? 
6. Same information represented in 2 ways: grade letter and grade bullet, next to each other is it always a bad practice?
7. Do the existing BI software allow us to innovate? And if they don't, do we need to innovate? Or just better focus on doing our best with the existing techniques?


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grasshopper

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Posts: 245
Reply with quote  #25 
The look & usefulness is improving, imho.
One thing that jumps out in the latest iteration is that there's a large area of wasted white-space in the top/center.
Maybe something could be added and/or re-arranged to make use of that prime real-estate?
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