Monthly Archives: March 2014

Happy 25th Birthday Internet

Today, the internet begins it’s 26th year since it’s conception by Bernstein. I thought it was important to mention it since this is a data blog and there would be no such thing as a data scientist without the internet (or at least it would not mean what it means today).

How to… create a datawrapper graph

Datawrapper is a tool that helps you create interactive charts and maps while making you appear more data-savvy than the average excel user. This example will go through the creation of a graph using the Datawrapper site and the data from my previous post on alcohol related deaths.

  • First, obtain the data you wish to work with. For this example, I downloaded the excel file of alcohol -related deaths  from the National Office for Statistics.ons
  • Then, ‘clean’ the data you wish to use by deleting unnecessary columns or rows. For my third chart, I decided to create a new table with the total number of alcohol-related deaths for males, females and both for every year.
  • Copy the table of data you wish to visualise and enter it on the website after clicking the try it now button. There is no need to sign up although the option exists. Don’t edit the data even if it looks messy when pasted.Untitled
  • Once you upload and visualise, you can decide on the type of chart and title. Untitled 3
  • Finally, you need to publish and embed. A URL and code will be generated so you can create a hyperlink from your blog or embed it in your website. WordPress, unfortunately doesn’t allow embedding.Untitled 4

Alcohol-related deaths finally decreasing?

Alcohol. A life saving disinfectant, a solvent in perfumes, a possible fuel and most of all a very popular drink. However, half of teenagers in this country put themselves at risk by intoxication of alcohol at least once a month according to Professor David Nutt, British psychiatrist and neuropsychopharmacologist specialising in the research of drugs. He says: “It is the commonest reason for death in men over the age of fifty.”

Since 1992,  alcohol related deaths in the UK in both male and females were increasing. By 2004,the number of deaths had doubled compared to 1992. However, data from 2010 onwards suggest for the first time in two decades, alcohol related deaths are decreasing in both males and females.

This data was taken from the Office for National Statistics

male deaths

Click here to see graph!

alcohol female

Click here to see graph!



Click here to see the graph

“Alcohol numerically is responsible for considerably more harm in the population, certainly health related harm in the population, than other drug.” says Paul Wallace, professor of primary health care at University College London. If this trend continues downwards, it could save many people of liver cirrhosis and death. It could also remove Britain’s reputation as one of the EU countries with higher than average rates of alcohol consumption.

However, this trend shown by the ONS data does not necessarily mean the success of government regulations. “We don’t have any rational policy on drugs in this country” says Prof Nutt and he believes major action needs to be taken to improve the health and life expectancy in the UK.