Big Data (Infographics)

BIG DATA / a series of infographics

Context
After studying a wide-range of topics, issues and projects involving Big Data, it's uses and it’s implications, students were asked to produce a project of our own. After sourcing, scrubbing, filtering and asking meaningful questions of the data, we presented our findings visually.

Course: Big Data with Debra Anderson and Greta Bookstein. Fall 2013.  

Proposal
I am fascinated by the idea that subjectivity can be quantified. Limiting my scope to large Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), I began by looking at a Well-Being Index, which asked evaluated respondants’ well-being based on measures such as access to healthcare, and frequency of produce consumption. I compared this with more “objective” data such as unemployment, income levels and crime, seeking conclusive evidence that somehow the three were linked. My findings were both satisfying and surprising, and I displayed these in a series of infographics.

An overview of unemployment data by MSA for the years 2010-2012. In this case, the lighter the color, the less unemployment. I chose to display the data geographically using color, so that patterns and clusters could easily be seen. Then, I called out the MSAs with the highest and lowest unemployment per year, and displayed between them the national average. Patterns are immediately visible, for example: during all three years, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA had the highest unemployment.

An overview of unemployment data by MSA for the years 2010-2012. In this case, the lighter the color, the less unemployment. I chose to display the data geographically using color, so that patterns and clusters could easily be seen. Then, I called out the MSAs with the highest and lowest unemployment per year, and displayed between them the national average. Patterns are immediately visible, for example: during all three years, Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA had the highest unemployment.

A closeup of the map showing unemployment data by MSA

A closeup of the map showing unemployment data by MSA

A closeup of the callouts showing unemployment by MSA

A closeup of the callouts showing unemployment by MSA

An overview of overall well-being data for the years 2010-2012. In this case, the darker the color, the higher the well-being score. In 2010 and 2012, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV had the highest reported well-being – 2011 must have been an off year!

An overview of overall well-being data for the years 2010-2012. In this case, the darker the color, the higher the well-being score. In 2010 and 2012, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV had the highest reported well-being – 2011 must have been an off year!

A closeup of the map showing overall well-being data by MSA

A closeup of the map showing overall well-being data by MSA

A closeup of the callouts showing overall well-being data by MSA

A closeup of the callouts showing overall well-being data by MSA

An overview of households living below the poverty level for the years 2010-2012. In this case, the lighter the color, the fewer households there are living below the poverty level. In 2010 and 2012, Memphis, TN-MS-AR had the highest reported number of households living below the poverty level. What I found particularly interesting about this dataset was the comparatively extreme discrepancy between the highest and lowest percentages.

An overview of households living below the poverty level for the years 2010-2012. In this case, the lighter the color, the fewer households there are living below the poverty level. In 2010 and 2012, Memphis, TN-MS-AR had the highest reported number of households living below the poverty level. What I found particularly interesting about this dataset was the comparatively extreme discrepancy between the highest and lowest percentages.

A closeup of the map showing percentage of households living below poverty level by MSA

A closeup of the map showing percentage of households living below poverty level by MSA

A closeup of the callouts showing percentage of households living below poverty level by MSA

A closeup of the callouts showing percentage of households living below poverty level by MSA

In an effort to more succinctly and comparatively display the datasets, I created these donut charts. Here, unemployment data is compared with overall well-being. In 2010, there was the strongest correlation between low unemployment and high overall well-being, perhaps due to a slight upswing in the wake of the recession. But overall, it seems that unemployment does not directly correlate with overall well-being in large MSAs. 

In an effort to more succinctly and comparatively display the datasets, I created these donut charts. Here, unemployment data is compared with overall well-being. In 2010, there was the strongest correlation between low unemployment and high overall well-being, perhaps due to a slight upswing in the wake of the recession. But overall, it seems that unemployment does not directly correlate with overall well-being in large MSAs. 

Here, unemployment data is compared with percentage of households living below the poverty level. Unsurprisingly, there seemed to be a strong correlation between low unemployment and less households living below the poverty level. 

Here, unemployment data is compared with percentage of households living below the poverty level. Unsurprisingly, there seemed to be a strong correlation between low unemployment and less households living below the poverty level. 

I decided to also look at violent crime data by MSA. Here, I found a rather strong correlation between high overall well-being and low rates of violent crime. 

I decided to also look at violent crime data by MSA. Here, I found a rather strong correlation between high overall well-being and low rates of violent crime. 

An overview of all data 

An overview of all data 

Sources 
Gallup Well-Being Index: Well-Being by MSA (2010-2012)
US Census Bureau: Bureau of Labor Statistics (2010-2012)
Federal Bureau of Investigation: Crime by MSA (2010-2012)