Assignment 3: Tools

The main task for this assignment was more of technical one.

The initial task I thought of was that to use the data across French Fries (considered fast or junk food) to assess if what is would have any trends to show that it has benefits of sorts.

I picked 4 tools to use eventually, but was actually only doing 2 in actuality.

Google Fusion Tables and Tableau allowed me to work with the data and filter only what I needed whereas the other 2 could not.

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Google Fusion Tables

GFT had some cons:

  • Limited viz options
  • Not much chart settings
  • Cannot export image/pdf & not for print (mainly web display)

GFT pros:

  • Tabbed interface; able to filter data
  • Good sorting options
  • Simple UI

Using GFT, I was able to find out that for all other things similar (namely the energy), there were no-salt alternatives (low in sodium) which makes French Fries less unhealthy in some sense.

However, the some classmates provided feedback that I was comparing supermarket versions of uncooked and unprepared fries with the likes of those from fast food chains like Wendy’s and McDonald’s. In my defence, I was only comparing Energy and Sodium which isn’t directly linked to deep frying frozen french fries. Of course, it was paramount that this detail was noted and adjusted accordingly later.

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Tableau Desktop

The cons:

  • Hard to learn and use (category and value is known as dimensions and measures respectively)
  • Cannot export image/pdf directly (locally), and not for print

The pros:

  • Drag & Drop
  • Simple visualisation recommendations (largely automated)
  • Many minute settings and can filter data
  • Almost limitless variables
  • Tabbed working interface with ability to make dashboards

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Many Eyes

Was not able to filter data within the software/application/online service and therefore no conclusions can be drawn. Non-conventional uploading of data into a textbox, not with csv or excel sheets.

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Nodebox

Don’t even try this. I believe it is meant for final level/stage visualisation and not meant for working with large data, at least for beginners. Would call it “visualisation software” rather than “data visualisation”.

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¶ Time Skip – Moving on to the later stage of the assignment ¶

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With the known issues in mind, I had manually filtered out the data and relabelled them from the data set.

I intended to focus on both French Fries and Ice Cream (since both were typically unhealthy foods)

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