Wednesday, 23 May 2012

O Death, Rock Me Asleep

This is the first of seven poems I plan to post here. They have given me great joy and food for thoughts and have become my favorites.

"O Death, Rock Me Asleep" is a poem by Lady Anne Boleyn (1501-1536). It is widely presumed that she penned this poem while awaiting execution. The pathos in her writing is unmistakable, the philosophy is her words, undeniable.

"O Death, rock me asleep,
Bring me to quiet rest,
Let pass my weary guiltless ghost
Out of my careful breast.
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Let thy sound my death tell.
Death doth draw nigh;
There is no remedy.

My pains who can express?
Alas, they are so strong;
My dolour will not suffer strength
My life for to prolong.
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Let thy sound my death tell.
Death doth draw nigh;
There is no remedy.

Alone in prison strong
I wait my destiny.
Woe worth this cruel hap that I
Should taste this misery!
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Let thy sound my death tell.
Death doth draw nigh;
There is no remedy.

Farewell, my pleasures past,
Welcome, my present pain!
I feel my torments so increase
That life cannot remain.
Cease now, thou passing bell;
Rung is my doleful knell;
For the sound my death doth tell.
Death doth draw nigh;
There is no remedy."

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

An Update

It was hard to stay off the computer for an extended period of time. I got hit with a nasty attack of frozen shoulder, and it meant following a very strict regimen of computer time that was minimal. I spent my free hours reading books, poems and articles and now feeling decidedly better.

Since I still cannot spend many extra hours pursuing my interests in Excel for still some months to come, I've decided to fill this void in my blog by posting some of my favorites poems instead. I hope this will be a welcome change in the contents of this site.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The Dorling Cartogram

My last project involved using a multitude of regions for drawing analysis, parallels and comparison. Not wanting to use yet another Choropleth graph, I decided to look up alternatives which were easier to create and preferably required no VBA.

Soon I stumbled upon "The Dorling Cartogram", defined in the UCSB site as, "This type of cartogram was named after its inventor, Danny Dorling of the University of Leeds. A Dorling cartogram maintains neither shape, topology nor object centroids, though it has proven to be a very effective cartogram method. To create a Dorling cartogram, instead of enlarging or shrinking the objects themselves, the cartographer will replace the objects with a uniform shape, usually a circle, of the appropriate size."

I had the data for Obesity in the United States handy, so I decided to give it a try before using it in my project. I opted to use Bubble charts because data points within a series may need to be of varied shapes based on its obese population while the colors indicated different tiers of obesity percentage. Thus larger the circle and redder it is, the severe the obesity. To determine the obese population per state, I have used 1990 Census data to calculate between 1995-2000 and the 2000 Census data to calculate between 2001-2010.

My version of Dorling Cartogram in Excel:

Parting words: As Dorling Cartograms are non-overlapping. In places they overlapped, it is common practice they rather be moved so that the full area of each shape can be seen. The positions of several states in relation to each other are hence slightly altered as per this principle.

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Pie-Doughnut Combination: A Radial Treemap

I stumbled into this graph some years ago, while looking up data for a project on US Auto Sales, through a post in Neoformix - Discovering and Illustrating Patterns in Data. So, when I started making the list of Pie-Doughnut combination charts, I decided to include this variety and use it to display survivors and victims of the Titanic tragedy on its centenary year. 

It is not a particularly difficult chart to create, specially if one sets up the table properly. My first attempt brought me this:

I thought a lot over whether to keep the statistics as labels for the outermost doughnut that displayed the survivor/victim proportions. They get a bit muddled up around the first class women and children' section and the inability to add leader lines to the doughnut labels meant they couldn't be dragged away and the lines used as pointers.

Here is the chart with the stats on display:

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Pie-Doughnut Combination: A Fan Plot

Happy to be back after a pretty busy beginning to the new year. I had this completed almost immediately following the preceding post, but was otherwise hard pressed to find a suitable time to post it.

Soon after writing the Florence Nightingale Circumplex Chart post, I started searching for more varieties of charts that can be created using combinations of Pie-Doughnut charts. Soon enough, I found one through Naomi B. Robbins' comment in a Jorge Camoes' post.

The referenced PDF article attempts to use Fan Plot to display relative quantities and differences using the R statistical language as is shown in the image below.

Impassive to its benefits and/or disadvantages, I created it in Excel.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Florence Nightingale Circumplex Chart

I was taken to Florence Nightingale's Wiki page during a recent research, and one of the interesting things I noted was her contribution to statistics. It came to me as a pleasant surprise that she is credited with inventing the polar area diagram, or occasionally the Nightingale rose diagram, which is equivalent to a modern circular histogram.

Following the completion of my project and in my weekend to spare, I devoted time to recreating the chart in Excel. It took a combination of Doughnut-Pie-and XY charts and close to four hours to finish it. The colors are a bit darker, the values are approximate and the labels differently oriented, yet the chart looks fairly close to the original as is shown by the picture below.

Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Playfair Charts: Scotland ExIm Barchart

Soon after finishing the second Playfair chart, the one on Wheat Price and Wages, I searched the internet for additional charts made by him. I found a Bar chart circa 1786, which showed the Scottish export and import volumes with other countries. For me, the real thrill was to scroll by the list of the name of places long consigned to history books - Jersey Is, Greenland, Prussia, Denmark and Norway (together) and Flanders. 

First, the original Playfair Barchart from Wikipedia, 

Then, my version of it in Excel. 

Couple of parting words: 

  • Excel 2007 no longer support dots and lines as fillers for charts. Hence, the ribbed import chart is given a different color, Gold. 
  • Normally, I'd use data point labels to construct the chart legends and other declarations given at the bottom of the chart. However, given Excel 2007' inability to automatically re-size labels to fit texts, I was forced to use text-boxes instead. 

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Playfair Charts: Wheat Price and Wages

After successfully recreating the Playfair trade-balance time-series chart, I took up the second chart shown in Jorge's post which is fancifully titled, "Chart showing at one view the price of the quarter of wheat and Wages of Labour by the week from The year 1565 to 1821."

I left out the top arches. Comparatively, this was the easier chart. Staying true to Jorge' rules, I didn't use any shape or clipart objects in this chart. The big oval shaped object in the middle of the chart, which contains the title is actually a marker for a data point.

The original Playfair Wheat price and Wages chart from Wikipedia,

and underneath, is my version in Excel.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Playfair Charts: Trade-balance Time-series

In one of his blog, Jorge Camoes talks about recreating the iconic "Playfair" charts. William Playfair (read more about him here), universally heralded as the "founder of graphical method of statistics" is credited with inventing four types of diagrams. The Line graph and Bar chart in 1786, and the Pie chart and the Circle graph in 1801.

In his post Excel charts meet William Playfair, Jorge includes pictures of the original Playfair England export and the prices of wheat and weekly wages charts alongside his recreated versions. He also lays down some rules for this challenge. "A single chart (no overlapping charts), no shapes/clipart to display data and, obviously, no Photoshop."

The original Playfair trade-balance time-series chart from Wikipedia,

and in below, my recreated version in Excel.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Rugby World Cup Dashboard: Charts Re-done

After creating my version of the Rugby World Cup Dashboard, it is time to redo their existing charts. My gripes were regarding the Treemap, the Stacked Bar and the Line charts, and here, I will attempt to offer easier, cleaner and more legible alternatives.

My alternative to the Treemap Chart,

The Stacked Bar chart, 

and, the Line chart.