By Leslie Young
As an addition to our census coverage, I decided to take a more lighthearted look at our Statistics Canada spreadsheets, and turn them into a Census Dating Guide.
It was a lot of fun to make. It involved pulling out the unmarried, not common law individuals, male and female, from all age groups and analyzing the data.
We found that St. John’s and (oddly) Saint John had the highest ratio of available women to men. Saguenay, Quebec had proportionately the most men.
You’ll find a map at the bottom of the article that lets you explore concentrations of single people by sex and age group, down to the census tract level.
But the part I found most fascinating was the availability by age chart. It shows all kinds of things, like that men are probably getting married earlier, that enough people get divorced in their forties for it to make a blip on the graph. And, of course, that the supply of available elderly women far outstrips that of men.
By Leslie Young
I recently put together an interactive feature that lets users explore vehicle recall data and compare recalls on different cars. The full news story is here, with a nice TV report by Global Toronto’s Sean O’Shea.
The data for this is drawn from Transport Canada’s Road Safety Recalls Database, a searchable version of which is available on their website, although I had to do an Access to Information request to get the underlying data.
What excited me about this project is that it’s truly interactive. What you see on the screen completely changes depending on what you type. Everyone will have a different experience because everyone will want to search and compare different vehicles. Hopefully, it’s both informative and fun.
I used Tableau Public to power this feature. I’m liking this tool a lot lately because of the way you can link a variety of different visualizations together to really explore a given topic.
You do this by creating filters and applying them to multiple charts - in this case, I created some “Quick filters” and set them to “Global.”
It’s not perfect though. Tableau is powerful, but very non-intuitive to use. This project took a lot of trial and error and email exchanges with Tableau staff to put together. The Public free version also has a limit of 100,000 rows, which meant that I had to summarize my data and make it show only recalls from 1990 and later.
Still, pretty fun. Last week, I also did a similar visualization (under the hood at least) on MP’s expenses.
By: Leslie Young
Last week I visited Ottawa to participate in the federal budget lockup at the old train station.
My mission was to produce some interesting graphics of the federal budget, showing the cuts and Canada’s overall financial picture.
Using Tableau Public, I came up with these:
I’m pleased with the results, though they aren’t ideal. The federal government has an odd way of reporting finances. The budget itself is painted in the broadest strokes. They don’t even break down finances by department, which made it tough to figure out what proportion of a department’s overall budget these cuts represented.
It’s not like they couldn’t. The Ontario budget, for which I did a similar graphic a few days before, does include projected departmental budgets.
Comparing budget figures with existing data can be done, but it’s a bit of a minefield, since the major financial document, the Main Estimates, uses a different accounting system than the budget (or it seems, Canada’s Public Accounts). Comparing across accounting systems would skew the data and mess up the calculations.
In retrospect, I might have had better luck using the Public Accounts as my comparison. A lesson for next year.
I’m pretty pleased with Tableau though. Except for the fact that it was down for maintenance the night of Ontario’s budget, it’s great for making quick and attractive graphs.