In his book, The Functional Art, Alberto Cairo sets out to explain what data visualizations are, why it is significant to pair data and design, and how to assess whether a data visualization is "good" or not. In the first chapter, Cairo presents an example from Matt Ridley's book, The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves. Ridley asserted that the global population was decreasing over time, using only one line chart.
Having data is great, but if you don't understand how to display it, you can't get your point across. The focus of this blog series is to explain the various chart types available to you in SLIM-Metrics so that you can efficiently analyze your data, as well as to provide helpful tips and tricks.
Bar charts break a data set into bins or categories and provide the number/percent of projects or the average metric value for each category.
In a post for The Guardian's Datablog, Jonathan Grey explores the rise of data journalism. Data journalism is "a journalistic process based on analyzing and filtering large data sets for the purpose of creating a new story. Data-driven journalism deals with open data that is freely available online and analyzed with open source tools.
Although data is a powerful tool, Grey reminds readers that it's not a silver bullet and counters some commonly held data myths.
Data is not a perfect reflection of the world.
When learning something new, people often try to relate the new information back to something they already know in order to help make sense of the new concept or idea. As a psychology major now working in the software world, I’ve found myself relating a lot of what I’m learning back to the psychological theories and concepts I learned in college. Therefore, it is no surprise that upon reading The Twelve Principles of Agile Software, I’ve discovered that many of their principles map to organizational psych concepts.
Here is a helpful tip for comparing project performance for projects of different sizes.
Software size has a big impact on metrics like effort, duration, defects, or productivity. We have known for many years that the relationship between project size and most software metrics is exponential. That is why our trends appear straight on a log – log scale. SLIM Suite tools take project size into account by regressing core software metrics like effort, duration, or productivity against size to sanity-check estimates and benchmark completed projects:
Since I began working with SLIM-Metrics and the QSM historical database, I've been interested in unique ways to present information. I've written before about how others pair data and design to visualize patterns, but this is my first attempt: a word cloud.
David McCandless gave a TED talk in July 2010 that focused on pairing data and design to help visualize patterns. In his talk, McCandless takes subsets of data (Facebook status updates, spending, global media panic, etc.) and creates diagrams which expose interesting patterns and trends that you wouldn't think would exist. Although the focus of McCandless' talk was about how to effectively use design to present complex information in a simple way, I was struck by his own claim that data is not the new oil, but rather that data is the new soil. For QSM, this is certainly true!
A few weeks ago, Thomas C. Redman posted Demand the (Right) Right Data on the Harvard Business Review blog, about how managers should set the bar higher, in terms of data.
Why are managers so tolerant of poor quality data? One important reason, it seems to me, is that most managers simply don't know that they can expect better! They've dealt with bad data their entire careers and come to accept that checking and rechecking the "facts," fixing errors, and accommodating the uncertainties that using data one doesn't fully trust are the manager's lot in life.
Anyone who has gambled (and lost) knows the sting of losing. In 1979, Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, pioneers in the field of behavioral economics, theorized that losses loom larger than gains; essentially, a person who loses $100 loses more satisfaction that what is gained by someone who wins $100. Behavioral economics weaves psychology and economics together to map the irrational man, the foil of economics' rational man.
How can I leverage this theory for software development?
According to the QSM IT Software Almanac (2006), worst in class projects took 5.6 times as long to complete and used roughly 15 times as much effort with a median team size of 17, and were less likely to track defects.
As our clients expand into new design disciplines, QSM recognizes their need for estimation, tracking, and benchmarking tools for domains outside of just software. Our goal with SLIM 8.0 has been to increase configurability within our tools so our clients can model any type of system quickly and easily. With SLIM Suite 8.0g2, QSM continues to expand our offerings to support different design processes and increase ease of use.
SLIM Suite. An auto-update notification feature has been added to detect when a newer version of the SLIM Suite exists and is available for download. Enhancements have also been added so Export to PowerPoint now defaults to .pptx file format and Export to Word now defaults to .docx file format where appropriate.