Weekly Whiteboard Data Viz: This Magic Moment

Weekly Whiteboard Data Viz: This Magic Moment


The election cycle is upon us and the campaigns are using all sorts of data to make a case for voters to join their tribe. A friend of mine, who knows my love for data visualizations, shared an article about the Clinton Campaign failing at data visualizations. In this example, the campaign attempts to utilize a Venn Diagram to show support for universal background checks for firearm purchases. I won’t comment on the politics of the visualization, but it inspired me to try my hand at a Venn Diagram for this week’s data viz. If you’re interested in political and current event data visualizations, check out Five Thirty Eight.

There’s a great explanation of Venn Diagrams here.

Lynsey recently shared her plight of living in a house without a home office. Having no defined office space, makes productivity a challenge with kids in the house.  I am sure many parents can relate.

In this week’s visualization, we elaborated on the struggle of work-from-home productivity with a Venn Diagram (Euler Diagram). We illustrated the proportion of time our children spend on specific activities. These activities top our list of tools used to occupy our tiny humans when there is work to be done. Independent play, screen time and food all help us achieve some much needed in-home work focus. And when these activities combine…something magical happens.

add coffee for best results…that’s a whole other visualization.
ahhh…the sweet spot.

A Venn Diagram is made up of circles representing the proportion of the whole that identifies with each category. The circles overlap and create joint areas where both categories are present concurrently. At the Larson House, you will notice that the majority of time we spend doing work, the kids are playing independently (usually prompted by a period of time playing with them- see the “dependent” play circle). The second largest category is the time the kiddos are allowed screen time, this is a combination of TV, computer, iPad and occasionally a phone. The third and final category is the time the kids are eating, which is surprisingly a lot…nom nom. It’s amazing the time you can buy with an ice cream sandwich (so long as you can ignore the mess). There is a lot of overlap in the time Nola and Gus do these three activities together, which enables us to identify that magic moment when we are truly able to get work done.

What activities, tools or methods do you use to get work done at home? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks!

Here’s a few other Venn Diagrams that made us chuckle.




Data Dan Larson is a data enthusiast who loves problem solving. He looks for ways to utilize data to optimize the world around. He’s also a papa who loves relating his findings back to life as a modern parent.

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