Discussion 2 (DTDS21)

Home Forums From Data to Dashboards Summer 2021 Discussion 2 (DTDS21)

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    • #8796
      Liz Lewis
      Moderator
      • Which type of graph do you think is best for showing Flores del Mundo’s membership trends over the course of the year?

      • Does your answer change if you’re graphing total membership versus employee/spouse/dependent?

      • Does your answer change if you want to show Eastern and Northern on the same graph?

    • #8962
      Emily Leonard
      Participant

      I think a line graph would best depict Flores del Mundo’s membership trends over the course of the year. This type of graph shows the shape of the data and is easy to understand at a glance. However, If we are interested in graphing total membership vs. detailed type (i.e., employee, spouse, or child), I would suggest a color-coded bar graph to show patterns and trends across each group. Using a line graph for this type of data may be cluttered and difficult to interpret. A line graph or a bar graph could be effective to Eastern and Northern membership trends on the same graph. In either case, sticking to a 2D plane would be best.

    • #8985
      Veronica Topp
      Participant

      I would also choose a line graph to show Flores del Mundo’s membership trends over the course of a year since it would most clearly convey the change over time. A line graph could be used to graph total membership versus employee/spouse/dependent over time but a bar graph may be more visually appealing and easier to quickly understand. The year could be divided into quarters to make it more condensed although this may hide some of the month to month changes. Since Eastern vs Northern would only be comparing two values, a line graph would probably work best since it’s easier to track two colors versus four but a bar graph could be appropriate here too.

    • #8992
      Rebecca Halley
      Participant

      Trends over time tend to be best represented by line graphs. Total membership trends, or for Eastern and Northern on one graph, I would go with a line graph in both cases. For the latter, I would include a legend that runs close to the end of the lines at the right of the chart.

      To compare total membership versus employee/spouse/dependent would depend on what you were trying to gauge from the data. If you want a visual of total membership, and how much of that total is comprised of employee/spouse/dependent, a stacked line graph may be a good option. Alternatively, if what you want to visualize is the hard trends for each category, a bar graph or a composite bar and line graph (line representing total, and bars representing the separate components) may work better.

    • #8993
      Elizabeth Mello
      Participant

      I agree that a line graph would be a good choice for this data, but I also think that a bar chart/histogram would be a good choice as well. It would show the change in membership volume well from month to month. Additionally, the Flores del Mundo data are not continuous data, they are cross-sectional, point-in-time assessments of the membership once per month. Because we are measuring membership at regular intervals, a bar chart could be a useful visualization of these data.

      However, once we add the stratification by member type and region, it could be difficult to compare a bar for each group during every month. We could try a stacked bar chart, since we are only comparing two or three categories, but if a group is small, it could be difficult to see. This may be the point where I would switch to a line graph so that the reader can easily see the different groups on the same graph.

    • #9000
      Linda Am
      Participant

      • Which type of graph do you think is best for showing Flores del Mundo’s membership trends over the course of the year?
      A line graph would be great to visualize the membership trends over the course of the year. A colorful bar graph is also a good option for interpretation because it also shows trends over time.
      • Does your answer change if you’re graphing total membership versus employee/spouse/dependent? My answer does not change, I like both options because they both have valid ways of showing trends over time. Although, in this case, I prefer to use color coded bar graphs since they are easier to visualize at a glance and can show the different categories of employee, spouse, and dependent.
      • Does your answer change if you want to show Eastern and Northern on the same graph? I believe we can show both a line graph and bar graph in this case as well if we want to show both Eastern and Northern on the same graph as long as the x axis is time and the y axis is the total number of membership. Color representing these categories is helpful but I would prefer both. They are both great.

    • #9005
      Lydia Merritt
      Participant

      I think the line graph shows a quick and simple view of what we are looking for in the membership graph. I still think I would like to see the line graph representing total membership for Employee/Spouse/Dependent, only because I like to present a graph that doesnt need to have a lot of time spent in explaining it. Not necessarily, I would say if we were showing many more regions or had the data spread out more, I would change the graph to a pie chart to make it easier for presentation, but I like the presentation as it is.

    • #9006
      Karen Murphy
      Participant

      The compare the aggregate of membership trends between the two groups of employees, the line graph was the simplest and least complicated option. When looking at three groups within the Eastern and Northern sets, as well as when comparing these two groups relative to the other, the vertical bar graph offered the best side-by-side comparison.

    • #9009
      Sonnie Davies
      Participant

      That’s an interesting question because the values of the different variables (employee/spouse/dependent, male and female, etc.) that could be included on the membership trends graph very widely. It seems that because the breakouts of enrollments vary between the two zones in ways that are significant for health plan decision makers, we should be sure to include more variables than just simple overall enrollment trend over time. I’m thinking that perhaps a line graph is still the best way to show the trends over the course of the year, even though you’ll be including employee/spouse/dependent breakouts and/or Eastern and Northern zones simultaneously. But the line graph should be accompanied by a simple two bar graph showing the average proportion of females and males enrolled in each zone for 2011. Since the proportion of females in the Northern zone is so much higher than males in that zone AND ALSO higher than both males and females in the Eastern zone, that information will affect health plan choices by Flores del Mundo.

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