Each Tuesday, Eurry Kim, a student in our class, will pick one example of data visualization to share with us.
Here’s the visualization for this week:
This fancy interactive time-series plot is based on a CSV file that Ben Fry found on a Wikipedia footnote — no scraping necessary! The graph breaks one of those viz Rules that axes should always be labeled, but I think it is better without the labels. When I first saw it, I wasn’t sure what was going on, so my natural instinct was to pick a point and click. You’ll see that this action brings up the path of a Fortune 500 company. You can follow its progress on the Fortune 500 list from its relative rank to its relative revenue and profit across the decades. You can further interact with the visualization by arrowing up, down, left, or right to display its nearest neighbors (sorry, no pun intended). Note that you can also see the macro view of all companies. The plot of Fortune 500 profits makes it evident that profits have been volatile since the mid-80s. Unfortunately, there is no story told of companies falling off of the list (merge? liquidate? shrink?), but sometimes you already know (*ahem – 2008 banking crisis).
Oh – one more thing. Mac users may access the interactive visualization through their non-Chrome browsers (e.g., Safari)