I bet a lot of SAS users know where the phrase "Live Long and Prosper" comes from ... but can we use SAS software to also help analyze 'how long'? This blog posting shows several different kinds of SAS graphs that can help answer such a question!
Let's start with a map. I recently found an interesting map in an article about overeating. The map showed changes in life expectancy, by geographical region. I created my own version of the map, with a few changes (hopefully improvements!).
In the original map, I saw a lot of comments complaining about the 'regional/area names' that were used, therefore I decided to just leave those names out (and let the coloring of the grouped areas suffice). I also used simpler (just red & green, for bad & good) colors for the selected countries with detailed labels. My version also has mouse-over text for the country names. Click the snapshot below to see my full-size map, with hover-text:
I found another visualization in a New York Times article that used a grid of bubbles to represent life expectancy data. After we added support for alpha-transparent colors in SAS, I was able to create my own version:
And last but not least, what about a bar chart? ...
As you can see, there are many different ways of visually analyzing the same (or in this case similar) data. Each different type of chart, and even subtle variations of the same chart, can help give you more/different insight into your data, and thereby help you understand it better. When you're exploring your data, I encourage you to visualize it in several different ways. And when you want to answer a specific question, select the type of chart that best answers the question.