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Data Goes Graphic
Jason Goodman ‘12 has put up an interesting post on Tumblr entitled At Dartmouth, grades are up, the humanities are down, and economics is king: a story in charts. Beyond his interesting analysis — which draws heavily from a five-part series done a few years ago in this space by Brian Solomon ‘11 — the piece shows the potential of interactive, graphical depiction of data. Gone are the days of static histograms; viewers can now push the data, move labels around, and even re-define axes.
Here’s a screenshot of one of Jason’s charts showing the number of students taking individual classes in each of the College’s departments. As you can see from the presence of various controls and check boxes, in the interactive version of the chart you have the ability to look at the performance of each department year by year, compare departments, and change the scale of the X-axis. You can even set the graph in motion:
The College is jumping on the improved-graphics bandwagon. In April, Alicia Betsinger began work in Hanover as the associate provost for institutional research. She amassed extensive experience with data visualization at the University of Texas, and she wants to put her background to good use here. As she stated to the Chronicle of Higher Education, “I would love for Dartmouth to become the national model for Ivies with respect to data visualization and consumption and use of data.”
Let’s put aside that boilerplate enthusiasm. (Why do people think such a quote is interesting?) I’d prefer complete numbers to their pretty presentation. For example, the Dartmouth FactBook currently presents the total number of non-faculty staffers on the payroll only back through 2009:
However, the more interesting story is the growth of staffing over the last few decades. I spliced this table together from Factbook data that is no longer available on-line:
Even better would be year-by-year stats for the total non-faculty staff at the College back until 1990. How about it?
August 14, 2013
Breaking: Of Crips and Bloods and Memories of Ghetto Parties
History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then as farce, or sometimes it just repeats itself. From the New York Times on November 30, 1998: At Dartmouth College, white students at a ”ghetto party” dressed…
June 25, 2013
Dean of the College Charlotte Johnson’s War on Students Part (2/2)
Part 1, Part 2 Today’s post again recounts the events that befell the Freshman. However, the content of the Hanover Police department report reproduced in this space yesterday is supplemented by information from my own…
October 18, 2009
When Love Beckoned in 52nd Street
We were at San Francisco’s BIX last evening, enjoying prosecco, cheese, and a bit of music. A full year of inhabitation in Northern California has unraveled to me no decent venue for proper lounging, but…
October 9, 2009
D Afraid of a Little Competish
So our colleague and Dartblog writer Joe Asch informed me that the D has rejected our cunning advertising campaign. Uh-oh. The Dartmouth is widely known as a breeding ground for instant New York Times successes,…
September 4, 2009
How Regents Should Reign
As Dartmouth alumni proceed through the legal hoops necessary to defuse a Board-packing plan—which put in unhappy desuetude an historic 1891 Agreement between alumni and the College guaranteeing a half-democratically-elected Board of Trustees—it strikes one…
August 29, 2009
Election Reform Study Committee
If you are an alum of the College on the Hill, you may have received a number of e-mails of late beseeching your input for a new arm of the College’s Alumni Control Apparatus called…