November 17, 2019

When do kids get smartphones?

by Ryan

#MakeoverMonday Week 47 Visualization

Each week Eva Murray (@TriMyData) and Andy Kriebel (@VizWizBI) share an article and dataset and ask the community to tackle creating a new visualization from the data. It's a chance to learn and explore. The vizzes created get shared via Twitter and reviewed (if submitted) in a weekly webinar. 


My first time

I started working with Tableau a few years ago while pursuing my degree. I didn't start working with it regularly until last year. This week is my first time participating in #MakeoverMonday. It's easy to feel intimidated after seeing some of the vizzes created each week. I've followed the project and attended some of the webinars but I hadn't created one myself.

What I did

You can see the viz embedded above. The original article focused on smartphone ownership on the rise. It included additional points about screen time. I decided to focus on the question from a parent's perspective since I faced with this question, when do you get your kid a smartphone?

For us, one of the factors is whether or not our kid is staying home alone, or going out with someone else. A phone helps us stay in contact. Looking at the data, it wasn't only the increase in smartphone ownership that caught my attention. Kids are getting phones at a younger age. In 2015 not quite a third of 11-year-olds owned smartphones and now it's over half.

I also noticed the degree of change at different ages, with 12-year-olds having increased the most. It's a big jump from 2015. And more 14-year-olds own smartphones than 18-year-olds did only four years ago. By the time kids today hit 18, over 90% own smartphones. It makes it a pretty universal aspect of life.

Creating the visualization, I wanted the focus on the changes at each age. I tried different views, dual-axis charts, dumbbell charts, and variations on the sort of line chart used in the original viz. Finally, I kept it simple. The percentage ownership at each age to show the change and increase in ownership. I added a couple annotations to highlight my observations.

I've spent too much time on it. I need to work on getting this done faster next time. It's great practice, so I expect to improve.

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Ryan M. Williams lives a double life as a full-time career librarian and a multi-genre writer with over twenty books. He writes across a range of genres including science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, horror, and romance. He earned a Master of Arts degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose University. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Pocket Books, WMG Publishing, and in On Spec Magazine.

Ryan M. Williams

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