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Tracking STDs, HIV and AIDS in Texas, 2006-2010

on Mon, 10/08/2012 - 04:35

This data visualization allows to examine five year’s of historical data on sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV / AIDS in Texas State and suggest what the case count and incidence rates will look like in the near future.

The data visualization was created by Steve Wexler from Data Revelations using data from Texas Department of Health Services.    

In the original blog post, Steve Wexler stated as key findings:

  • Roughly ten percent of Texas’ 254 counties account for 80% of all cases.
  • Within these counties, the incidence rate for STDs is up 28% from 2006.
  • The incidence rate for HIV is up 5%, but for AIDS it is down 31%.
  • The two counties that can boast the largest rate decrease for all diseases tracked in the study are Hays (-13.9%) and Travis (-7.4%).
  • The two counties with the greatest incidence rate increase for all diseases tracked in the study are Jefferson (+122%) and El Paso (+65.5%).
  • There appears to be a strong correlation between the existence of Planned Parenthood locations and decreased incidence rates.
  • We believe that the recent cuts in family planning funding will lead to a large increase in cases in 2012.

Steve Wexler also prepared a tutorial about this data visualization, available here.

I like very much this data visualization because:

  1. it is very well designed and impressive.
  2. Wexler introduces in this visualization, for the first time, a solution for providing additional information to users using tooltip feature hovering the mouse over the Question Mark at the top-right of the visualization. This is imporntat because additional information can be given without compromising the visualization space.  
  3. A guided navegation from one tab to other in a sequencial way is also a nice feature in this visualization. More on this idea can be found in the Steve Wexler's blog post "Minor Rant - Why is it so difficult to navigate in tableau?".
  4. Choropleth map is used to show cases and incidence rate by counties in Texas. This filled map style was introduced later in Tableau Software.
  5. A Pareto chart is used in this visualization to identify those counties with higher number of cases. It is clear identified that only 10% of counties in Texas has the 80% of STD and HIV/AIDS cases. This is a powerful tool for program planing and support decision-making in public health.
  6. Small-multiples trend charts are used to show the % Rate change over time per disease in counties with higher number of cases (Top 10%) and in the total for the top 10% counties. 
  7. The Wexler's data visualization is an inspiration to apply visual analytics in public health and develop sound and well deisigned data visualization and dashboard that effectively support not only story-telling but pattern discovery and decision-making in health. 

These reasons motivate me to devote a short post to this data visualization.

Steve Wexler submitted this data visualization to the Third Tableau Public Data Viz Context, taking home the win, which was announced at the O'Reilly Strata Conference. Steve also won the Iron Viz Championship at the 2011 Tableau Customer Conference

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