Skip to main content

The Hemingway Version of a Faulkner Story

Note: Tableau Guru Jeffrey Shaffer suggested I change from a red/green palette to one that's better for people who cannot distinguish between those two colors.  I changed it to include one view with orange/purple, but kept the original as well.

My undergraduate degree is in English Literature, and so I've read a lot of things I didn't like. In one American literature class I remember, the two heavyweights of the course were William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway, and the difference in their literary styles made an impression on me.  I'm reminder of this exchange of criticisms:

Faulkner: "Hemingway has never been known to use a word that might send the reader to a dictionary."
Hemingway: "Poor Faulkner.  Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

And so it goes with Story Telling With Data.  I downloaded an interesting data table from the Digest of Education Statistics, and worked for a long time, trying to find some interesting way to display the data.  I had a story board with four dashboards, but nothing was telling anything that was compelling. Part of the problem is that the patterns are hidden in the 50 states and three different types of FTE enrollment: Public, Private, and Private For-Profit.

And then it happened, and the charts tell the story almost without words.  On the left is change in FTE (Full-time Equivalent) enrollment by state from 2000 to 2010, broken out by sector.  Notice: Almost every state in all three views are green, showing positive numbers.  The worst is the khaki color, showing low increases.  

In the right column, it's a very different story.  Lots of red, concentrated, interestingly enough, in publics and the for-profit sector.  You can hover over a state for details, but the patterns are pretty clear, even without doing so.

There. A story, with no big words, and just a few pictures.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Another 1000 Words and Ten Charts on First-generation, Low-income, and Minority Students

I have always enjoyed writing, and I consider this and my other blog like a hobby.  Usually, I spend no more than 45 minutes on any post, as I don't make my living by writing, and my blogs are not "monetized." But once in a while, an opportunity presents itself to write for a wider audience, and that's when I see what it takes to make a living putting words to paper. That happened this week.

You may have seen my opinion piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education. If not, you can read it first, read it last, or not at all; I think both this and that stand alone, despite their relationship.  In the end, we ended up with about 40% of my first draft, which is what happens when you write for a print publication. And of course, a print publication makes interactive charts, well, difficult.

I think there is more to say on the topic, because the similarities in recruitment challenges for first-generation, low-income, and minority students tend to look a lot alike, and the mo…

2018 Admissions Data

This is always a popular post, it seems, and I've had a couple of people already ask when it was going to be out.  Wait no more.

This is IPEDS 2018 admissions data, visualized for you in two different ways.  You can switch using the tabs across the top.

The first view is the universe of colleges and universities that report data; not every college is required to, and a few leave data out, and test optional colleges are not supposed to report test scores.  But IPEDS is not perfect, so if you find any problems, contact the college.

On the first view, you'll see 1,359 four-year private and public, not-for-profit institutions displayed.  In order to make this as clean as possible, I've taken out some specialty schools (nursing, business, engineering, etc.) as many of those don't have complete data.  But you can put them back in using the filter at top right.

Hover over any bar, and a little chart pops up showing undergraduate enrollment by ethnicity.

You can also choose to…

Changes in Bachelor's Degrees, 2011-2017

This will probably be the final post in Higher Ed Data Stories for a while.  As you may already know, I'm leaving DePaul for the "best coast" to take the position of Vice Provost of Enrollment at Oregon State University, effective July 1.  Thus, I'll be in personal and professional transition for a while, and once I arrive, I'll be busy learning a new institution and working on new challenges that should keep me occupied for a while. (Additionally, I'm not sure what my Tableau situation will be like...)

As you may already know, HEDS got its start when I decided to revise and share work I was already doing in my job at DePaul. Much of it, I presumed, would be of interest to university colleagues and high school and independent counselors.  But I had no idea how many people craved information like this.

So, for now, here is information about bachelor's degrees earned in 2011, 2014, and 2017, the most recent available in the IPEDS data center.  It's pres…