into beautiful visual representations like this:
This is Crosstabs Grapher (download):
(Note: In the screenshot of the CNN data above, we removed the column for Perry to make it easier to fit on the screen. Perry’s totals were 1%, 0%, 0%, 1%. In our usage of CrosstabsGrapher we combined these totals with the Other column. We labeled that group “*” because of its small height on the chart. We also re-ordered the columns to correspond to the vote totals from the South Carolina Primary.)
Here is the data-entry portion of Crosstabs Grapher:
Most of this information should be straightforward for anyone who has worked with Crosstabs polling data. There are a number of things to point out.
The column marked “Mult” is used when each group is given a percentage for how big they are. In the CNN data, the group sizes are 9%, 19%, 45% and 27%. If you have access to the raw data, the values in this column should be 1. This is important. If you enter raw data into the grid, and also use the multiplier, it will skew the data.
The numbers to the right of the “Export PNG…” button is the size (Width, Height) in pixels of the PNG file that will be created. You can resize the window to make larger or smaller PNG files. The app will remember the last size you selected each time the program is run.
The checkbox marked “Reverse color groups” will cause colors to be grouped according to the groups on the Left, rather than the groups on the Right. For example, using this checkbox with the data above would result in a graph that looks like this:
The color-shaded buttons below each column allow you to use the Windows ColorPicker Dialog to choose colors for each group. Notice the slider to the left labeled “Alpha.” This slider allows you to determine the opacity of all the bars. A lower opacity allows the reader to see the ways the bars cross each other and also allows you to see the underlying image that is being used as the background.
There are also buttons to change the background color that is used to fill the image before drawing the graph, and the text color to be used.
Finally, at the bottom of the dialog are several controls which allow you to specify a background image for your graph. The first combobox has the options No image, Tile, Center, and Stretch. If you choose Tile, Center, or Stretch a dialog will appear and allow you to select an image file from your computer. Tile will cause that image to be tiled behind the graph. Center will center the image behind the graph, shrinking if necessary and maintaining its aspect ratio. Stretch will stretch the image to fit behind the graph, ignoring its aspect ratio.
The second combo box allows you to how the background image is placed. The options are Cover All, Exclude Hdr/Ftr, Exclude Labels, or Graph Only. The Cover All option will draw the background image over the entire size of the image to be created. Exclude Hdr/Ftr will exclude the header and footer portions, Exclude Labels will exclude the labels on the left and right, and Graph Only will only draw the background image behind the graph portion of the image.
Here is an example of the somedisagree.com icon made to be tiled:
And here it is used on the above graph with the “Tile” option and the “Cover All” option.
Here is a version of the same graph with a picture of the CNN data behind it with Center and Graph Only selected:
We also reduced the Alpha slider so the underlying image could show through better.
Crosstabs Grapher is now available for download. Please check here for updates. You can post questions here in the comments section. Also, feel free to post some graphs you create.
Last updated: January 29, 2012.