Good and Bad Visualizations

Week 2


  • Questions from the previous class?
  • Take edX class if you don’t have R experience
  • Start think about identifying a dataset for your capstone assignment
  • Don’t forget about your reflections

Office hours

  • Daniel: Fridays 1-2 pm Howlett 340 (email him if you plan to go) or via Zoom
  • Jess: Tuesday 11:30 am - 12:30 pm in Howlett 348 or via Zoom
  • Those who want to attend office hours virtually, use the same Zoom link for class

What was easier to find?

  • good πŸ‘ visualizations
  • bad 😑 visualizations

Bad visualizations 😑

Microbiome stacked bar plots at it again

super bad stacked barplot

Figure source: Niu, B. et al. (2017). Simplified and representative bacterial community of maize roots. PNAS, 114 (12).

Bad COVID is bad

bar plot from hell


bad bar plot

ggplot can still be bad

boxplot with extra legend and weird ordering

The winner of bad visualizations

πŸ†πŸ… Shiva Jahanbakhshi

plot line spaghetti

Good visualizations πŸ‘

Cell expression

Cxcr4-GFP expression in different cell lines Werner, Y., Mass, E., Ashok Kumar, P., Ulas, T., HΓ€ndler, K., Horne, A., … & Stumm, R. (2020). Cxcr4 distinguishes HSC-derived monocytes from microglia and reveals monocyte immune responses to experimental stroke. Nature neuroscience, 23(3), 351-362.


how googled MLB and NFL teams are by location in the US

Weight loss RCT

weight loss on liraglutide

Mok J, Adeleke MO, Brown A, et al. Safety and Efficacy of Liraglutide, 3.0 mg, Once Daily vs Placebo in Patients With Poor Weight Loss Following Metabolic Surgery: The BARI-OPTIMISE Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Surg. Published online July 26, 2023. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2023.2930

World population

8 B people graphic colored by continent and area scaled for population

Volcano plot

volcano plot of gene expression

Land doesn’t vote

map of US with bubbles colored whether states voted for biden or trump and scaled to electoral votes

The winner of good visualizations

Jeff Eiseman πŸ†πŸ…

summer temps across the US

The winner of good visualizations

Carl Engstrom πŸ†πŸ…

rainfall in southern Cali during Hurricane Hilary

Closing thoughts