Reading the Data Visualizations
This framework draws from numerous sources, each of which has its own way of collecting and reporting data. In order to provide a more cohesive presentation of the data and information in this report, Texas 2036 developed standards and processes for presenting data and information. This section provides a summary of how to read the indicator glyphs and visual models used in this document.
Each indicator has some overall information that is summarized in a small table; the main takeaways are:
- Baseline: Absolute value of the indicator based on most recent data points
- Target: Desired value for the indicator
- Benchmark: Value against which the actual value is compared
- Trend: Percentage change of the indicator over 2+ most recent data points
The Baseline colors are based on the comparison of Texas and its peer states as defined in the following table:
The Bar chart displays information as a categorical aggregate; the compared values are different but are hierarchically equivalent. In particular, the bar charts enable us to compare different indicators that share the same context and same category or location.
The Line chart displays information as a time series, where single data points are simply connected by a line. It's particularly useful to show changes over short and long periods; given different needs, different aggregations can be displayed and the ticks of the axis could be distanced by different amount of time.
When smaller changes exist, it’s better to use line graphs than bar graphs. Line graphs can also be used to compare changes over the same period of time for more than one group.
Cartography directly recalls existing geographical patterns in the reader and gives them instant knowledge; Choropleths are very useful to show big picture information while relying on the user's knowledge about the plotted location various social and economical background.