Assignment 1

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Designing Graphs that Enlighten


Data journalism is the use of data and number crunching in journalism to uncover, better explain and/or provide context to a news story. According to the Data Journalism Handbook [1], data can be either the tool used to tell a story, the source upon which a story is based, or both. It often involves the use of statistics, charts, graphs or infographics.

Recently, there is a growing concern of income inequality in the country. The current affairs editor of a local newspaper company is planning to write a special article to cover the issue. As the data journalists of the company, you are tasked to prepare appropriate data visualisation so that the news editor can use them to tell more compelling story to the readers.


You are free to use any relevant data from publicly available source. Some of the possible data sources are:

  • Department of Statistics, Singapore [2]
  • [3]


As different information graphics can emphasise different aspects of a dataset, you should document what aspect of the data you are attempting to most effectively communicate. In short, what story (or stories) are you trying to tell? Just as important, also note which aspects of the data might be obscured or down-played due to the way the information graphic was designed.

In the assignment write-up, you should provide a rigorous rationale for your data selection and design decisions. Document the visual encodings you used and why they are appropriate for the data. These decisions include, but not limited to, the choice of graph type, size, colour, scale, and other visual elements, as well as the use of sorting or other data transformations. How do these decisions facilitate effective communication?

Submission details

This is an individual assignment. You are required to work on the assignment and prepare submission individually. Your completed assignment is due on 5th September 2013, by 8.00am.

You need to edit your assignment in the appropriate wiki page of the Assignment Dropbox. The title of the wiki page should be in the form of: IS428_2012-13_Term1_Assign1_FullName.

The assignment 1 wiki page should include the write up and a copy of the information graphic prepared. The information graphic should be in a standard image file format (i.e. jpg, png, bmp). You can use the “Attachments” link found at the bottom of a page to attach the information graphic to the assignment wiki page.

For more information, please refer to assignments completed by earlier students here [4] especially [5], [6], [7] and [8].


Guardian Data Blog [9]

New York Times Infographics [10]

Assignment 1 Q&A

Need more clarification, please go here