data visualisation

This category contains 10 posts

Include uncertainty in a financial model

Here’s a post that appears on my new website, coppelia.io. The problem You’ve been asked to calculate some figure or other (e.g. end of year revenue, average customer lifetime value) based on numbers supplied from various parts of the business. You know how to make the calculation but what bothers you is that some of … Continue reading

Freehand Diagrams with Adobe Ideas

Freehand diagrams have two big virtues: they are quick and they are unconstrained. I used to use a notebook (see What are degrees of freedom) but recently I got an ipad and then I found Adobe Ideas. It’s completely free and has just the right level of complexity for getting ideas down fast. It takes … Continue reading

A confused tangle

A confusion matrix is a confusing thing. There’s a surprising number of useful statistics that can be built out of just four numbers and the links between them are not always obvious. The terminology doesn’t help (is a true negative an observation that is truly in the class but classified negative or one that is … Continue reading

Visualising Shrinkage

A useful property of mixed effects and Bayesian hierarchical models is that lower level estimates are shrunk towards the more stable estimates further up the hierarchy. To use a time honoured example you might be modelling the effect of a new teaching method on performance at the classroom level. Classes of 30 or so students … Continue reading

Lazy D3 on some astronomical data

I can’t claim to be anything near an expert on D3 (a JavaScript library for data visualisation) but being both greedy and lazy I wondered if I could get some nice results with minimum effort. In any case the hardest thing about D3 for a novice to the world of web design seems to be … Continue reading

Clegg vs Pleb: An XKCD-esque chart

I saw an interesting “challenge” on StackOverflow last night to create an XKCD style chart in R. A couple of hours later & going in a very similar direction to a couple of the answers on SO, I got to something that looked pretty good, using the sin and cos curves for simple and reproducible … Continue reading

Why are pirates called pirates?

In homage to International Talk Like a Pirate Day… I recently stumbled across a series of blog posts from the folks at IDV that visualised the archive of recorded pirate attacks which has been collected by theĀ US National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. It’s a dataset of 6000+ pirate attacks which have been recorded over the last 30 … Continue reading

Graphing the history of philosophy

If you are interested in this data set you might like my latest post where I use it to make book recommendations. This one came about because I was searching for a data set on horror films (don’t ask) and ended up with one describing the links between philosophers. To cut a long story very … Continue reading

D3 – another acronym to learn

D3 (which stands for data driven documents ) has been getting a lot of traction over the last few months, with more and more interactive and animated visualisations using this JavaScript library. The author of the library, Mike Bostock, is very active in both developing the library and also in providing a constant stream of … Continue reading

Visualising the Path of a Genetic Algorithm

We quite regularly use genetic algorithms to optimise over the ad-hoc functions we develop when trying to solve problems in applied mathematics. However it’s a bit disconcerting to have your algorithm roam through a high dimensional solution space while not being able to picture what it’s doing or how close one solution is to another. … Continue reading

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