The data I chose to search was a list of words I obtained from Hayle’s list of “minerals”. Because there were some descriptive words for the bracelets that were technically not minerals, I decided to remove everything that is not both a mineral and crystalline. The definition of a mineral is generally accepted to be “a solid inorganic substance of natural occurrence”. This technically means that gold, silver, ice, copper, and some other metals are considered minerals. That complicated things too much so I added the crystalline modifier to concentrate my data. After that I used VIZOR to make sure that I had every occurrence of the remaining words. Then I went to the page on which a given word occurred and recorded the date that was on the side bar for that page. After counting the number of days between each occurrence, I placed them into the table to see if there was a pattern. I checked for a pattern by playing with the differences in dates: averaging them, taking the sum, taking ratios of each date to its neighbors, taking ratios of each pair of dates, and plotting them on a number line. There was no discernable pattern in the dates on the chronology for the pages that contained a reference to a mineral. This particular analysis of the data did not provide any meaningful interpretation or analysis.
I then began to look at the pattern of the names of the minerals themselves in reference to how Sam and Hailey used them. This is a pattern that I noticed while close reading the novel and I decided to explore it further and in more depth. The results revealed an inverse pattern where Sam and Hailey used the same minerals to describe their own and each other’s bracelets. This pattern is shown in the green and gold columns and is particularly evident starting on Hailey’s page 90 and Sam’s page 75. The circular pattern recurs often in the novel and provides insight into the relationship of the characters.
When choosing how to construct my visualization I relied on my background in statistical analysis in the scientific context. I did several co-op rotations in industry and I had to present data on the projects that I was working. In that environment clarity, precision, and efficiency are required when conveying the results of an experiment, especially if you are making a recommendation that involves money. I went with the short, sweet, and to the point approach that every meeting at my co-op, every engineering class, and every lab that I have ever taken has trained me to use. When presenting a dataset like this it is important to have the different fields clearly separated in groups. If I were presenting to engineers I would probably stick with the bold lines around each group under the column header, a lighter line in between each sub-set under the header, and alternating grey and white cell color for the sub-sets. I chose the colors that I did because green and gold have been established as visual shorthand for Sam and Hailey respectively. Also, I purposefully chose to use a concise, orderly visualization as a direct juxtaposition to the disorder of the novel.