So far I have not been very good at demonstrating our work visually. To begin redressing this I have had a go at visualising some of the results from last year’s political engagement research.
In one part of our survey, school students in the 11-19 age range were asked which topics they thought they should be taught more of. I took the data I wanted to visualise and created a new table with it. Then, with the help of tutorials from flowingdata.com, I used the statistical computing framework R to turn the numbers into both a heat map and a set of Chernoff faces. I then used a vector drawing package (Inkscape, to be precise) to tidy up and tailor the images.
In the heat map image below, the ‘hotter’ the topic the more important the students thought it was.
The bigger, happier and more elaborate the face (in the image below), the more important its associated topic was felt to be. The characteristics of the faces are determined by the data for each age group.
All of that was derived from a csv file of a simple table of data:
|Subject||All||Age 14||Age 15||Age 16||Age 17||Age 18||Age 19|
|Banking, mortgages and personal finance||304||50||58||43||49||50||54|
|Politics and current affairs||243||30||29||40||44||49||51|
|My rights as a citizen||164||28||33||31||25||24||23|
|Sex and relationships||122||17||16||26||20||19||24|
|Responsibilities as a citizen||98||20||24||13||15||14||12|
|Different views and lifestyles||101||10||15||21||22||18||15|
|Skills for effective participation in community & politics||104||17||18||17||17||22||13|
|Drugs, alcohol & substance abuse||101||22||21||19||12||13||14|
|How I can make my community a better place||73||19||13||10||10||14||7|
|How I can help people in need||62||14||9||10||11||9||9|
|None of these||26||3||2||3||5||7||6|