According to a recent special report in a Massachusetts publication (Placeholder1), housing supply in the area is extremely tight. With housing availability in Eastern Massachusetts at record lows, families may not be in a position to move close enough to a preferred school for their child to enrol there.
The end goal of this project is to create a dashboard for parents of school-age, or soon-to-be-school age children, to easily identify which are the most desirable areas to move to, should property become available, as well as which schools in their current location present the option if relocation is not an option.
- Where in the state is the highest density of high performing schools (based on percentage of students that go on to college/based on graduation rates)?
- Which are the highest ranked schools in my area?
- Do my local school’s SAT scores have a strong relationship with entry to college?
- Which schools (in my area) have the best student to teacher ratios?
- Which school or schools have the best combination of factors that are important to me? For example, high college entry rates and high spend per pupil, or high SAT scores and varsity sports teams.
Preliminary data exploration:
The data provided contains text values, numerical values and geographical values. Preliminary investigation of the data shows that a number of schools are missing data relating to per pupil expenditures, graduation rate and percentage to college. These schools won’t be identifiable among top school with the top proposed question but perhaps their performance rankings based on SAT scores will provide some insights upon further review of the data. Provided the answer to the third question above proves meaningful, ranking school’s based on SAT scores to minimise null values may be an appropriate alternative as long as the comparison between SAT scores and college entry is understood by the end user and as such makes that metric meaningful and usable in their decision making process.
Initial review of the data also reveals that the city and district columns hold largely the same data. As the district data is recognised by Tableau as a string field whereas city recognised as geographic data the “City” column becomes the more usable option of the two for creating a map visualisation in this instance. The other key insight from initial inspection of the data is that the percentage of students who get into college is not necessarily dependent on the number who graduate.
The plan is to create an interactive Tableau dashboard comprised of four linked visualisations allowing the user to drill down to their local or chosen area in all visualisations at once. The proposed visualisations are as follows;
a map – to display high ranking schools by geographical area, both at a state level and an area selected by the user.
a duel axis plot or similar visualisation – the intention is for this visualisation to allow for some minimal user input (possibly in the form of filters) for displaying peripheral or non academic details important to the user, such as availability of clubs or sporting teams at the schools in the users’ vicinity
a sorted bar graph – this will likely be a graph of college entry results sorted highest to lowest with an added component of hue- relating to that school’s SAT scores.
and possibly a ranked list – listing the schools within the selected map area in order of ranking – likely based on percentage of entries into college achieved by their students..
The duel axis plot may not prove to be an effective visualisation choice, particularly when the data displayed is at the state wide level given the size of the dataset, as the bulk of the dashboard will likely be taken up by the map for maximum interpretability of the map based data.
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