Monthly Archives: July 2016

DIY Infographic: Timelines

Recently, I’ve created a blog post (A History of Augmented Reality) with a timeline infographic.

Just 1 month ago, this would have taken 1 week to create. Most of the spent time was on the designer who had to conceptualise and create the timeline. And really, their time could be better spent on other design things.

Now it takes a grand total of 2 hours to make a Timeline Infographic.

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Thanks to Timeline JS. It’s a simple and yet beautifully rendered timeline that runs on a Google Excel sheet. Yup, a Google Excel sheet. Just plonk in the data and image links, some formatting, and it automatically creates the timeline for you.

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If you’re being held ransom by designers and account managers, I’d suggest having a go with Timeline JS. Also, there are many DIY infographic tools on the internet that anyone – newbie or seasoned designer — could use to create great-looking infographics.

It just takes a little bit of willingness to try out the tools and perhaps a penchant for storytelling.

  1. Get the Timeline JS from Knights Labs
  2. See how timeline infographic is implemented at “A History of Augmented Reality: When Digital & Physical Worlds Converge”.

“Where’s the Bus Leh?” Visualising How Singaporeans Ping SG BusLeh

It took a year (of me being mostly lazy) before I turned the really nice dataset from SG BusLeh [get it from iTunes | Google Play] into a visualisation.

I didn’t know what to ask. So I just explored the data willy-nilly. In part, to try Tableau on different datasets; in part, to quickly generate visualisations to find questions.

Here’s what I found:

  1. There’s a difference between how SG Bus Leh is used on weekdays and weekends.
    Most folks take it later on the weekends
  2. People seem to take a while to get “into the groove” after a weekend. On Mon and  Tue, folks ping the app during perceived rush hour  timings (7 to 830am). From Wed to Fri, they’re actually getting out of the house earlier
  3. Lotsa pings on Fri night. No surprises there

I’ve put up the visualisations on Tableau Public: How often is SG Bus Leh Used?

Appreciate any feedback on them!

Shouts to SG BusLeh (iTunes | Google Play) for releasing their data

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Visualisations on Tableau Public: How often is SG Bus Leh Used?

When Possible, Visualise DATA

I’ve been prepping reports and cleaning datasets for the last few weeks.

It’s no different from my other data projects – except that I’m using Tableau to visualise the reports. I’ve always thought that visualising data was really all vanity.

Now I’m a convert. Visualising the data makes it so easy to see relationships between dimensions! The Viz below (go to Tableau Public for a live demo) is a Google Keyword Search & Competition Visualiser.

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I built the Keyword Visualiser to answer this question:

I got 1,100 keywords from Google Keyword Planner.

How do I know which ones to focus my social listening efforts on first?

Continue reading When Possible, Visualise DATA

The Right Question

Finding it is hard. 

Just over the weekend, I was busy trying to parse JSON data. Which, despite its connotations, was incredibly unstructured for this website. 

It was simply a block of text with HTML tags. So I poked around stackoverflow asking about HTML parsing. What I should have really been asking was how to extract text between tags.

The meaning is the same for both questions. But reframing the question into specific actions returned the answer (and code) in a much shorter time. 

The Learnings

When you’re not getting anywhere with your current question, re-ask it by focusing on specific actions.