Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Representation of Data - "Out-of-the-Box" way

source: LKY

The number of dengue infections has risen to an alarming number in 2013. NEA has been providing the public with updates, and at the same time sending alerts via the media to caution and educate the public.

Below is one of the ways that NEA presents information updates to the public:

Compare this "way" of presenting data with the "conventional" way of presenting data.
Discuss the advantages & disadvantages of presenting data in this manner.


  1. Advantages: People are able to see the location of the dengue cases, it is also more appealing to the eye and easy to understand.
    Disadvantages: Though the colours of the icons are different, there is no legend to state what the colour difference means. Also the presentation does not show the number of cases in each place. They could make the icons smaller so that they do not overlap. (Nehal, Taufiq)

    1. Very perceptive feedback. Consider also the target audience. Well done

  2. The disadvantage is that the arrows pointing to the locations are too close and overcrowded and it is harder to read. The advantage is that people will be able to see which parts of singapore has dengue hotspots.

    ~Chester & Chelsea

  3. Advantages : Easier to understand, Can get the overview of the where the cases are more serious
    Disadvantages : Not accurate, very general

    -Eunice & Me

    1. Good observation but appreciate if you could elaborate why it's not accurate.


  4. The advantage of presenting data in this manner is that you can tell which area of Singapore is infected or has a large number of dengue cases. Another advantage is presenting that graph, you can get more information of the current situation and other extra information just for self knowledge.

    The disadvantage of presenting this data in this manner is that if there are many dengue cases is in an area which is quite close to another infected area, the figureheads might overlap each other or they may be be tightly clustered such that it is hard to see and count the number of cases.

    - Timothy & Sabrina

    1. Like the observation and comment made. Refer to target audience.

  5. Advantages:
    1) Tells you where the dengue hotspots are in Singapore in a glance.
    2) The contrast in colours makes it easier to understand, and more appealing to the eye

    1) Does not tell you the exact number of cases in each area
    2) The icons overlap and is not easy to see in some areas

    By: Bryan Goh(11) and Kimberly Tan(08)

  6. Compared to the conventional way, we think that this way of presenting data is not as effective. The way they pinpoint the information is too cluttered and they do not pinpoint exactly where and which blocks are affected. On the other hand, the general public are able to identify which areas are in the red zone or the yellow zone.

    ~Bryan Lee and Kenric

  7. Disadvantages:
    -The symbols are inaccurate and hard to understand.
    -There is not a legend to explain the what the symbols represent.
    -The colours of the symbol are bright and attract attention.
    -The figures are shown in a way so one can tell where the high alert areas are.

  8. Advantages: People know where there are dengue hotspots at one glance and it is easy to comprehend. Readers will be able to know exactly where there are cases. This way of representing data is also very appealing to the eye and attracts more people to view it.

    Disadvantage:People will not know the exact number of dengue cases in that area also. Most of the icons overlap and we do not know what they represent.

  9. Advantages: People can see at one glance which places have more dengue cases

    Disadvantages: It is difficult to pin-point where the dengue cases are

  10. Advantages: Singaporeans can know where exactly are the dengue cases in Singapore and can take additional precaution if dengue cases start to appear in the area where they live.
    Disadvantages: Singaporeans cannot compare the current information to previous years to see if the numbers are decreasing or increasing.

  11. The difference between this method of presenting data and the normal method.

    If conventional methods used to present data were used , the location of the number of dengue cases would just be written, however with this method , the location is presented in a map of Singapore , and the person would just look at the map and know the location of that dengue outbreak.
    In addition , the intensity/ gravity of the amount of outbreaks is not presented in numbers , but instead in different colours , all varying in the “Alert level”.
    They also use icons of mosquitoes to represent the dengue , instead of simply writing “dengue”.


    Can easily tell where the dengue cases are occurring [the location]
    Check if there are any dengue cases in your neighbourhood.
    Easily able to tell where the most amount of dengue cases is
    The data is presented in a simple , visually pleasing form.


    No accurate numbers until you zoom in.
    The icons overlap and you are not able to know which area the icons are referring to.
    Very vague information

    [Myat Noe] [Sean]

  12. The advantage is this graph is more attractive to read and it also shows the critical and high risk areas.
    The disadvantage is the data represented is very messy and hard to understand when compared to the conventional graph.

    Xueqin & Yu Hin