What’s cool in data visualisation – Sparklines!

What’s cool in data visualisation – Sparklines!


As you know we like to have a segment that highlights the cool stuff in the industry.  The pick for this quarter is not a large complicated data visualisation paradigm but a wonderful example of simplicity…sparklines. 

What are sparklines you ask?
Well the standard web definition is that “sparklines are ’intense, simple, word-like graphics’ so named by information design guru Edward Tufte.” 

A sparkline is a small line graph designed to be used in-line within text to illustrate a time series; the concept was developed by data presentation guru Edward Tufte. Here’s an example:

The idea is to show, using minimal space, how a value varies over time. One advantage of sparklines’ compactness is that several can be used together to allow at-a-glance comparison between a set of time series. 

We first discovered the sparkline at infosthetics  this site deserves a tour of its own.  A fantastic collection of different ways in which data can be visualised. 

http://infosthetics.com/archives/2005/09/sparklines.html

 

 

 

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