Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An Old Fashioned Trend Visualization Appliance

And speaking about the excellent Calculated Risk Blog, I would like to point out the following exemplary post on the Housing market.

Using just the ordinary blog posting mechanism and the ability to embed JPG pictures as the Trend Visualization Appliance, the resulting article has a high degree of explanatory power and immediacy. You can literally see what Calculated Risk is talking about as you read as a result of the great blend of clarifying text with the easy to read trend graphics in close proximity.

Not relying on the normal conventions of providing only one or two graphics for headline numbers, Calculated Risks walks us through a series of 6 or 7 less well known but still key factors. This leaves the reader/viewer which a much more complete view of the dynamics that are at work in this one complex area.

Combine this with good references back to data sources and consistently good judgment on what would constitute a reasonable time frame, leaves with a very useful end result that provides the reader with the maximum amount of infomation in relatively short period of time.

The only difficulty with this is the same one I face with this TimelineView blog -- namely that as a limitation of BLOGGER.COM the largest allowed size of the embedded images is just too small to be fully readable and understandable in most instances. To really understand the charts, at least at first, usually requires clicking for the larger image and then using the browser navigation controls to go back to the main page. This really slows down the flow of reading and understanding.

I think we can all learn a lot by watching how Calculated Risk handles these kinds of presentations. Take a look at the post or other similar posts that appear regularly at Calculated Risk and you will see what I mean.

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