2015 CCHS as Interactive Online Report Cards and Comparative Graphs


Please note the following is my work and has not been validated by anyone. That's the nature of things when people do things with public data. However, I take great pride in work I do in my name that I don't do it recklessly, so I had used extensive systematic checks using Excel formulae to make sure nothing got inadvertently changed. I also didn't waste a lot of time to do this if I didn't think it had something valuable to offer that little, or anything else, currently out there could do so well. But without being able to give you authoritative validation, I would recommend you use this tool to get what you want to know, then go verify the values before you were to do anything serious with it, if you need some authoritative validation.

I have converted the 2015 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) into a report card format, with some graphs showing results for a different kind of visual comparison. I've embedded it below and after all that work, I'm going to have a little fun going through it to see what I can very quickly see from it that would have taken me "forever" to do with Excel or other analytical software I've ever used before. I'll just write out things in snippets the way someone might take notes, or a reporter might note things to look into further for potential stories.





Navigation of the "Report Cards" (RC tabs)

This report card format is comprised of red, green and grey circles, representing survey results that are better, worse or similar to the national average for the same demographic. Better and worse are by statistically significant amounts at 95% confidence, and have been prejudged so it's not always the higher score, like a higher rate of heart disease is a "worse" situation. No circles means there was not enough sample size to determine a reliable statistical comparison, and/or the criteria did not apply, like breastfeeding to males.

What you're looking for in these report cards as you change the variables allowed on the dashboards, are lines and/or patches of red or green circles, depending on whether you're looking for a worse or better than average result. Follow the lines or side/s of an area to the axes to see what criteria and/or what demographics are your points of interest. The reds tend to be more interesting because they're the things people should be more concerned about, lagging behind the national average by a statistically significant amount from the survey of about 50,000 so that's no little phone poll! Indeed, look at the last tab for the link to the questionnaire and see how long it is!

Provinces are listed left to right when present. Metrics are grouped by similar topics, like physical health, chronic conditions, mental health, etc when listed. Demographics are by gender and age within, followed by income and education that involves all genders and ages, only mattering in how much education one got and income earned. Unfortunately, when any of these criteria appear in a menu, it is alphabetical. Tableau, the software used to create this, was not able to order selection menus in custom order at this time.

Finally, "mouse over" dots and such to read results within, like rates and how many people are affected, roughly. Click on things to highlight it or them, while greying out other things. It's meant to be interactive so interact with it! :) 

RC Demographics Tab

This tab allows you to compare a particular demographic to the same one across the provinces, for all the metrics for which results were released publicly. Some demographics include others, like "everybody" that is the default view as the CCHS only surveys for people 12 years and older in the family.

Eastern Canadians are in relatively poor health

The patch of red in the upper right are those in the eastern provinces except for PEI, translating to poor physical health, in large part due to chronic conditions but also BMI and some less than healthy lifestyle choices. BC, meanwhile, is stacked in green for the same area! They're living up to their fit and healthy lifestyle image all right!

Flipping through the demographics, there seems to be fewer red dots for each demographic, which suggests that the eastern Canadians all share in that overall results rather than any group being a significantly bigger contributor than others. With how many demographic groups there are, it'd be hard to imagine just a few skewing an entire population.

RC Metrics Tab

This tab allows you to compare different demographics in all the provinces, all at once, on one metric at a time. If you make sure you're viewing it when you grab the JavaScript generated on the Tableau public site where this "viz" resides, you can embed it viewing what you want to show the viewer, not some default view like a link would give you.



Newfoundlanders & Quebecers love their liquor

I left the Heavy Drinking metrics on as the default for this tab because I thought it was funny as one piece of data to settling the claims people in different provinces have about drinking the most. Newfoundland and Labrador is the province I think of when it comes to drinking lots and according to the CCHS, they do drink more! In fact, they have more red dots than on the rest of the charts! Quebecers are also known for their love of liquor and it also shows here. Nova Scotians like to claim we drink a fair bit but it seems only our pre-seniors women outdrink their demographic nationally. Otherwise, we're no better or worse than anybody else. Meanwhile, BCers drink relatively little, though they may have vices for which results were not released. They're not known for alcohol problems in BC when it comes to vices, let's just say it that way.

Find a story on every report card!

You can check out the other demographics but there were definitely some clear and/or stunning results to be seen! And just about one on every report card for a story! For example:
  • Self-perceived health to be fair or poor - New Brunswick was practically red while next door in Quebec was practically green. What's with that?
  • When Atlantic Canadians get fat, we really get fat! For BMI considered to be overweight, we're not doing too badly. However, when it comes to obese, we're practically painted red across the Atlantic and all demographics! BCers were well under the national average for just about all demographics, not surprisingly. They're also pretty much the only ones who had above national average rates by a significant amount for an active level of physical activity.
  • Quebecers loved their fruits and vegetables, while other eastern Canadians don't, in terms of consumption by some recommended daily minimum.
  • Newfoundland and Saskatchewan are still heavy on the smoking. BC was not but it was cigarettes that were specifically asked about here.
  • Arthritis was amazingly more prevalent in NS and NL! We can't be the only ones with cold and moist sea air for a wet cold year round!
  • Albertans did really well for low prevalence of diabetes!
  • BCers did well against high blood pressure, but their demographic without a high school diploma did worse against the national average for the same group, interestingly.
  • Eastern Canadians except for Quebecers had better than average access to a regular healthcare provider and more saw a doctor in the past year, too. The latter is considered a positive thing with a higher rate because while you may be sick to have to go see a doctor, the fact you can and did is a good thing. You're also supposed to go for an annual check up so the sick reasoning should not be a factor for seeing a doctor in the past year. The green dots outnumber the red dots vastly in this metric, but that's because if you hover over the Quebec red dots to see their rates compared to others, you'll find they are significantly lower. They have a doctors shortage problem if anybody has!
  • Why BC mothers aren't initiating breastmilk feeding like others across the country I wouldn't know but thought it counter to their green and healthy, natural lifestyle out there. Meanwhile, Quebecers don't breastfeed exclusively for long.
  • Quebecers perceive their mental health to be spectacular compared to the rest of the country. This despite thinking they lead more stressful lives and not having nearly as strong a sense of community belonging as most of the country! The low number for the latter makes sense if you think about almost half wanting to leave the country and half not. With an identity crisis like that, no wonder people don't feel they strongly belong. They feel like they don't belong enough that their rates seems to offset the national average enough almost everybody else came in at a signficiantly higher rate than the national average! But at the same time, they don't seem to care, either, or maybe don't have time to with all the stress they self-perceive they deal with. That's not a statement on them but that's how the question was asked. They're also satisfied with their lives at a higher rate than most of the country, though they're not all glowy about their mental health "flourishing". It's an interesting insight, no? :)

I'll have to continue this another day as there is just too much to point out here!

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