During the final day of Dashboard Week, we were presented with the challenge of analyzing jail population data. This dataset provided us with limited dimensions – population by time and city – to explore the complex social issue of incarceration, which is influenced by various.

Given the complexity of the jail population issue, my first task was to narrow down the research focus. After careful consideration, I decided to examine the percentage of jail population relative to the city’s overall population. This approach aimed to provide a more insightful perspective on the prevalence of incarceration in different cities.

To enrich our analysis, I utilized city population data obtained from the USA census. By integrating this data into our study, I could explore the percentage of jail population in relation to the total population of each city. This additional dimension allowed for a more comprehensive understanding of the incarceration trends in different urban centers.

As the time allotted for the challenge was limited to four hours, I recognized the importance of keeping the dashboard design simple yet informative. My primary goal was to present the data in a clear and intuitive manner, enabling users to draw meaningful insights effortlessly. Therefore, I chose to incorporate two key charts in the dashboard. Rank of Jail Population Percentage: This chart highlighted the cities with the highest and lowest percentages of jail population relative to their total population. By ranking the cities, we could identify potential hotspots and areas for further investigation. Jail Population Variations Over Time: This chart visualized the variations in jail population over the course of the year for each city. By clicking through the data points, we could make dynamic comparisons and identify any notable patterns or seasonal trends.

In the dashboard week I found myself feeling both exhausted and accomplished. The experience of waking up early every day to tackle data analysis challenges was undoubtedly demanding, but the rewards were significant. This week-long exercise provided invaluable opportunities to practice the entire process of data analysis, from data exploration to visualization. I was able to sharpen my analytical skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the power of data-driven insights.


The Data School
Author: The Data School