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Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
10-08-2014, 08:36 PM
Post: #1
Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly

The visualization shows percentage of S&P 500 large companies paid in corporate income tax from 2007 to 2012. This is represented using bubble chart. Bubble size represents market capitalization of the 500 companies. The companies are divided in seven different groups according to the effective tax rate on scale from 0 to more than 60%

Some of the things I liked about the visualization are:
- I liked the use of bubble chart in this visualization as large data is to be shown. Using bubble chart, they have legibly displayed 500 individual values at once.
- The visualization is quite appealing. Data density is quite high for overall representation.
- The user who doesn't have knowledge about taxes can also understand about the effective tax rate and market capitalization of the companies
- Space is very effectively utilized and the colors chosen according to the scale of effective tax rate are distinct and they do not cause confusion.
- They have provided quite effective clear and detailed labeling.
- The visualization is very interactive. Facility of mouse hover is provided. User can get information about each company's effective tax rate, tax paid and earnings.
- The interpolation of data when switched between the tabs is smooth. They have provided users with the facility to look at the data according to the industries.
- Overall effective tax rate is shown by the vertical line on the visualization. While looking at the companies according to industry, they have sorted industries based on the overall effective tax rate.
- They have also provided the search tab to search any particular company or industry whose information user wants to know.
- The companies whose tax rates cannot be computed because they have lost money over six year period are grouped together and placed in N.A category.

The things I did not like about the visualization:
- While searching the company in the search tab, if the company is not present then they should give a message like "No info available".
- Some of the companies whose tax rate is same are represented in same color. For example Citrix Systems and Waters corp.

Overall I liked this visualization. I think they have done a pretty good job.
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10-09-2014, 09:41 AM
Post: #2
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
I liked your critique. I think the colors would have been better used to represent the Industry of the company.

The use of area to encode market capitalization is not the most effective choice, but the intent of the visualization seems to be to show that the company size is not correlated to the effective tax rate. I think the mixed bubbles do a good job of showing the mixtures of company sizes at each tax rate.
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10-11-2014, 09:42 AM
Post: #3
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
I think this visualization is cool and very interesting. I agree with Roshani's opinions for the most part. It has clear legends to show size and color information. I like the gradient color that is used to present different groups. Dark color (purple and orange) bubbles are showing for small groups and light color bubbles are showing for large amount company groups. We can imagine that it is definitely unsuitable if we change the gradient way, dark color to present the majority groups. Viewers may feel uncomfortable when seeing lots of dense dark bubbles in the middle of this graph. In addition, I also like it supports dynamic query when searching company names. Instead of typing full name of a company, viewers would give results immediately after typing pieces of company name. Plus, corresponding bubbles that matching query result would be highlighted in the graph. Overall I think this visualization is expressive and effective.
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10-12-2014, 12:30 AM
Post: #4
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
The critique is very good.

I would say this is a visualization for tabular data. The key attribute is company name and the value attributes are effective tax rate, market capitalization, industry type, tax paid, and earnings. The effective tax rate is actually a derived attribute based on earnings and tax paid.

Each company is represented by a circle. The most important attribute, that is effective tax rate, is encoded by two channels: one is horizontal spatial position, the other is color. Although there is no axis, the visualization indicates that the effective tax rate increases from companies on the left to companies to the right. The author also divide companies into categories (bins) according to there effective tax rate and use colors, mainly the hue channel, to represent these categories. I would say this is a very clever strategy. Otherwise, it would be stacks of circles on a horizontal line. Moreover, using hue rather saturation / luminance is the right choice, since it is much easier for readers to trace several groups rather than many individuals. And grouping in this case suffices to show the problem.

Market capitalization is encoded by size. This attribute is kind of strange in this data set since it seems to me that it is only used to attract readers attention to those larger circles.

Multiview technique is used to show an overall picture and for each industry type. For the case of showing by industry type, it is also a multiview technique with same encoding and different sutset of the data.

There is also interaction. When readers hove mouse over a circle, the detailed information will pop out.

Overall, I think this is a very good visualization.[/u]
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10-12-2014, 01:01 AM
Post: #5
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
Basically I like this critique and visualization. This visualization show the corporate incomes taxes of S&P. 500 companies from 2007 to 20012. It uses bubble chart list along with the effective tax rate axle to represent the whole income taxes paid condition, and use hue channel to differ companies into different groups. Some part I like about this visualization is:
1. As the poster said, the data density is very good. Effective use bubble chart to represent all companies in one chart and differ each company very well with bubble and hue.
2. The hue use to differ different effective tax rate group are very smooth, which make it easy to distinguish companies.
3. Great detail information is given about the chart, including a vertical line to indicate the overall tax rate of all S&P 500 companies, and some text explanations about each group and its useful detail information.
4. The interaction is very effective and smooth. You can move the mouse cursor to get detail information about the company income and tax. You can also type company name to search the company you care about.
5. The interpolation to give the effective tax rate chart for each industry is very appealing and useful. First, when click, the bubbles separate, the new axles and texts shows in a very smooth and clear way. Second, I think this is very helpful to people who are interesting in one specific industry.
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10-12-2014, 12:53 PM
Post: #6
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
I completely agree with roshani and lzhang critique points . For mapping such a vast dataset efficiently in such a small space, it appears to be a very good visualization design.

Two Points which I thought could have slightly improved the visualization

1. Comparing two or more datasets: In case if we could add a mechanism such as, if a user wants to compare statistics across multiple companies , we can add a button on the popup window when a user hover across a companies and then display performance of the companies user wants to compare based on selected parameters.

2. Trend pattern: The visualization provided us an average of effective tax rate over period of 5 years. But if we could add another parameter to analyse the tax paid across different years, to observe their past performance.
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10-12-2014, 08:47 PM
Post: #7
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
This visualization has been excellently summarized by Roshni. I agree to all the points that she has mentioned. I would like to add few more points to this. The graph is arranged in an order with respect to the effective tax rate. The designers could have made it more interactive by giving us an option to arrange this with respect to other attributes such as total earning or tax paid. Also it is a little difficult to compare tax rates of two companies.
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10-12-2014, 09:05 PM
Post: #8
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
I think this visualization is pretty interesting. It provides a detailed information about the effective rates and market capitalization of different companies.
The following are the high points about this visualization:
1. Use of channels, i.e., size for denoting market capitalization and color for denoting effective tax rate has been used quite wisely as these two channels do not conflict with one another.
2. It provides an understanding about how concentration of companies varies across the tax scale. We can clearly see that major concentration is around the 10-30% tax belt region.
3. The use of interactive hovering is useful for a user who wants to get details about a particular company.
4. The grouping of companies based on industries is also useful for anyone who wants to get an idea about how tax rate and capitalization varies across industries.

The things which could have been improved are:
1. The search feature could have been better. For the companies not in the immediate view and for companies not used in this visualization, there may be initial confusion regarding the search results.
2. The highlighting feature of companies and industries in the search feature, do not actually stand out.
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10-12-2014, 09:14 PM
Post: #9
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
I completely agree with all the points that Roshani has mentioned.
The visualizations is pretty easy to understand and descriptive as well. The different colors used to represent information about companies is a good idea. The search facility provided is also a nice concept and interpolation incorporated is also visually appealing. It makes it soothing for users to watch it and understand it.
But, it's difficult to compare the tax rates for different companies. This is the only point I felt that can be improved. Otherwise, the visualization is pretty good.
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10-12-2014, 10:34 PM
Post: #10
RE: Week 7: Across U.S. Companies, Tax Rates Vary Greatly
You made some very good points about the vis. The labeling was effective and detailed, however I'm not sure if this is the best way to vis the dataset in question. Izhang's comment about using tabular vis resonates with me. The vertical demarcation giving an effective tax rate by industry was helpful. If we're talking about the overall tax rates, then mentioning few players in the industry doesn't do much good. Bubbles only clutter up the place. In my opinion both the data density (too much info sometimes distracts the viewer from the main point) and corporate tax rates were disappointingly high.
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