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Click-through graphics: A demonstration visualization project for someone

Hey, read this post.

We discuss a shiny information visualization and propose “the click-through solution”: Start with a visually grabby graphic like the one on the linked page, something that takes advantage of some mystery to suck the viewer in. Then click and get a suite of statistical graphs that allow more direct visual comparisons of the different countries and different sectors of the economy. Then click again to get a spreadsheet with all the numbers and a list of sources.

I’m always talking about this click-through solution but I don’t have any great examples of it. If anyone’s interested, I’d love to see it in this case. Just set it up as a webpage with three steps—the original infograph, the set of statistical graphics, and the spreadsheet. Put it all together, send it to me, and I’ll post it.

This could be a great example for future data journalists and researchers to emulate.


  1. Ben Hanowell says:

    I don’t currently have an example, but I will definitely seek to implement one in the future because it sounds like a good idea in principle.

  2. MJT says:

    pretty much all the views on ballmer’s USAFacts are simple examples of clickthru graphics–by-mission&year=2014

    Each graphic, however, definitely is for the average consumer. Doing this as a statistician for model checks and stuff would be great.

  3. Anoneuoid says:

    I am not too familiar with Shiny but I got this working pretty quick.

    Imagine if you had a single measurement for each subject (eg score) and also a map (eg mri), then we want to find the correlation at each point of the map with the score. Besides looking at the overall correlation heatmap, we want to click and see the scatter plot for any given cell, as well as the data for that cell.

    I didn’t figure out the click through part, instead this will just show it all on the same page. Maybe someone else can do that. Also, for some reason the first time I ran it per session I needed to refresh the browser page. So try that if it is blank.

  4. Erin Jonaitis says:

    “Suck viewers in with a mystery and make them click to resolve it” sounds kind of … clickbaity? Is your goal here mainly about promotion (maximize pageviews, like clickbait) or organizing info well (hide the details until someone needs them)?

    • Andrew says:


      The point is that different sorts of displays attract different audiences. My goal here is to organize the information well and to serve three goals: attracting readers in the first place, providing useful information to interested readers, and empowering readers to perform their own analyses.

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