Category Archives: Analytics

Is UK energy consumption getting greener?

The charts below show UK energy consumption segmented by Sector and also Fuel Type. Have we made significant progress away from dirty fuel sources and towards cleaner solutions? And which sectors have made the most progress? Have a play with the filters:

Stark trends pop out immediately, such as:

  • Industry consumption has more than halved…
  • …but Transport consumption has nearly doubled.
  • No growth of Electricity usage in Transport sector.
  • Decline in Petroleum usage in non-transport sectors.
  • Also a decline in Solid Fuel usage in all sectors.
  • Increase in Gas consumption up to 2005, but now declining.
  • Shift away from Petroleum towards Gas in Services sector.
  • Bioenergy still only represents a tiny percentage of total.
  • Overall Transport consumption more than doubled since 1970.

Can you spot any more?

This viz was created using Tableau 10 , using data from Department for
Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Election 2015: the fight for Social

A widely-accepted major contributor to Obama’s 1st and 2nd term wins was his team’s dominance of the social space – which served as a lesson for our own parties. They’ve had years to gear themselves up: so how are they doing?

The initial slap-in-the-face insight is that the social rankings below differ hugely from the polls. But this is misleading for more than one reason.

First, let’s take a look at Facebook Likes over the last 2 weeks:

Are the parties (and leaders) managing to grow their collection of Facebook Likes in the run-up to May 7th?

In the leaders race, Webcameron seems to be trouncing the competition. But there’s a catch: the Tories have been spending over £100k a month on Facebook paid ads, a big focus of which has been generating paid Likes for their leader and party (you’ve probably noticed Dave on your feed over the last few months). In comparison, Labour have been spending about one tenth on the channel, and UKIP even less.

It could be argued that a paid Like is less ‘committal’ by nature than an organic one, so that big Tory lead may be less meaningful than initial impressions suggest.

Another standout is the strong result for UKIP and also Farage himself. These results certainly outclass UKIP’s own performance in the polls, and are even more impressive when factoring in their tiny paid ad spend. Why is this? One major contributor is the Facebook user’s mindset: it’s not called ‘Showoffbook’ for no reason.

By nature, UKIP is more a lifestyle choice, compared to the Big Three parties. Rightly or wrongly, UKIPers tend to be passionate about their beliefs – and so perhaps more likely to shout about them on the big self-branding exercise that is Facebook.

This self-branding effect also goes a long way to explaining the Green’s joint 3rd spot – although the rock-bottom tally for Natalie Bennet’s personal page will surely be a worry for Green Party HQ.

Now let’s compare Facebook and Twitter, first for parties…

How many Twitter followers and Facebook Likes do the parties have?

and then for party leaders:

How many Twitter followers and Facebook Likes do the party leaders have?

It’s interesting that the rankings differ so much between Facebook and Twitter. Again, a likely main factor is the user’s differing mindsets when ‘Liking’ on Facebook (self-promotion-centric) and ‘Following’ on Twitter (info gathering).

UKIP may be disheartened by the Twitter figures, which suggest that although many people want to portray themselves as proud UKIPers on Facebook, not so many want a live Twitter feed of party info. Does this suggest a loyal fanbase with clear voting intentions?

Lastly, a sobering Facebook chart for all career politicians out there. When comparing party and leader popularity with ‘general interest’ themes (aka normal stuff), even Dave’s huge lead in the race for Likes looks laughable:

On Facebook, how popular are the parties and leaders compared to mainstream topics?

So, erm, Phil Mitchell for P.M. then – in a coalition with Innocent Smoothies.

New Year’s Resolutions comparison: 1947 vs. 2014

Happy New Year everyone!

As my New Year’s resolution this year is to write blogs more often, I thought I’d start off the New Year with a blog about New Year’s resolutions.

I came across this Huffington Post article by Anna Almendrala. The theme: how have our resolutions changed since the forties, and what does it reveal about us? I decided to attempt an upgrade to the simple ‘Top 10 List’ format contained within the original article, so created the data viz below using Tableau.

Click on the circles to the right, to view the position of each item in the original top 10 lists:

What are my dubiously-scientific takeouts here?
– Not many people were concerned about losing weight in the ration-tastic forties, but it ranked a supersized #1 in 2014.
– Religion has taken a back seat these days. I guess people have iPhones now.
– People were just as concerned about saving money then as now.
– A surprising trend away from quitting smoking / drinking. I thought everyone loved cigarettes back then?
– A trend away from wholesome improvements to your personality / character, towards just ‘getting more’ out of life. It’s all about us, after all.

Data viz: a quick cut through Russia

The world hardly needs yet another blog post about this famous data visualisation, but hey, it’s my blog, so in the immortal words of Jerry Springer: “Get your own show.”

Jerry Springer

 “Hey, it’s my show!”

The beauty shown below (click image to enlarge) was hand-drawn by Charles Minard back in 1869, and progressively reveals the disasterous results of Napoleon’s 1812 Russia campaign :

Carte figurative des pertes successives en hommes de l'Armée Française dans la campagne de Russie 1812-1813 by Charles Joseph Minard
Carte figurative des pertes successives en hommes de l’Armée Française dans la campagne de Russie 1812-1813 by Charles Joseph Minard

Continue reading Data viz: a quick cut through Russia