When I recently published the latest edition of The Data & Analytics Dictionary, I included an entry on Charts which briefly covered a number of the most frequently used ones. Given that entries in the Dictionary are relatively brief  and that its layout allows little room for illustrations, I decided to write an expanded version as an article. This will be published in the next couple of weeks (UPDATE: now published as A Picture Paints a Thousand Numbers).
One of the exhibits that I developed for this charts article was to illustrate the use of Bubble Charts. Given my childhood interest in Astronomy, I came up with the following – somewhat whimsical – exhibit:
Bubble Charts are used to plot three dimensions of data on a two dimensional graph. Here the horizontal axis is how far each of the gas and ice giants is from the Sun , the vertical axis is how many satellites each planet has  and the final dimension – indicated by the size of the “bubbles” – is the actual size of each planet .
Anyway, I thought it was a prettier illustration of the utility of Bubble Charts that the typical market size analysis they are often used to display.
However, while I was doing this, my older daughter wandered into my office and said “look at the picture I drew for you Daddy” . Coincidentally my muse had been her muse and the result is the Data Visualisation appearing at the top of this article. Equally coincidentally, my daughter had also encoded three dimensions of data in her drawing:
- Rank of distance from the Sun
- Colour / appearance
- Number of satellites 
She also started off trying to capture relative size. After a great start with Mercury, Venus and Earth, she then ran into some Data Quality issues with the later planets (she is only four).
Here is an annotated version:
I think I’m at least OK at Data Visualisation, but my daughter’s drawing rather knocked mine into a cocked hat . And she included a comet, which makes any Data Visualisation better in my humble opinion; what Chart would not benefit from the inclusion of a comet?
Another article from peterjamesthomas.com. The home of The Data and Analytics Dictionary, The Anatomy of a Data Function and A Brief History of Databases.
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