Analysing and Using a Network Diagram

This network diagram from the New York Times looks at a community of doctors with respect to a prescription oncology drug. Colour is used to denote types of doctors while size denotes the volume of prescriptions for any oncology drug. Admittedly, I am not keen of the bubble effect placed on the circles. Those effects and the heavy black outlines for the circles distract a bit, but not excessively so.

Network diagram of doctors
Network diagram of doctors

What really makes this graphic, as is making so many of the Times’ graphics, is the annotation and explanation of the presented data. The user can readily see how some doctors are connected, but understanding the shapes and patterns of those connections is not as clear. But then the Times furthers that by explaining how the marketers of this oncology drug would use this data.

Credit for this piece goes to the New York Times graphics team.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

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