The more visualizations I make the clearer it becomes that one of the major challenges of visualizing education data is that it is a very complicated system and it is difficult to simplify. For example, I made a visualization of student transfers from Maryland community colleges to Maryland public four-year institutions. This is only a portion of college transfers. It does not include transfers from public four-year institutions to other four-year institutions. It also does not include other segments of higher education institutions such as private four-year institutions or out-of-state institutions. There is not an easy way to simplify the data.

I made this data visualization using the “chord diagram with animated bullets” demo by amcharts. I just added in my data. The demo has 6 nodes, mine has 29. The good thing is that the nodes can be clicked off so that you can examine only specific nodes. For example, you could click off all but two of the community college to compare them.

Animated BUllet Chord Diagram of Student Transfers: Maryland Community Colleges to Maryland Public Four-year Institutions

Note: I just noticed when testing the post that this chart does not look great on mobile. It works better if you turn your phone to landscape mode. I am going to explore this further.

  • BSU=Bowie State University
  • CSU=Coppin State University
  • UB=University of Baltimore
  • UMBC=University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • UMCP=University of Maryland College Park
  • UMES=University of Maryland Eastern Shore
  • UMGC=University of Maryland Global Campus
  • SMCM=St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • MSU=St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • MSU=Morgan State University
  • UMB=University of Maryland, Baltimore
  • BCCC=Baltimore City Community College
  • CCBC=Community College of Baltimore County
  • CSM=College of Southern Maryland
  • MC=Montgomery College
  • PGCC=Prince George’s Community College

Source: Maryland Higher Education Commission: Undergraduate transfers among Maryland institutions of higher education 2019-2020, May 2021.

chord Diagram Student Transfers: Maryland Community Colleges to Maryland Public Four-year Institutions

Note: I just noticed when testing the post that this chart does not look great on mobile. It works better if you turn your phone to landscape mode. I am going to explore this further.

I removed the bullets to reduce the visual clutter. I think I like this version a little more, although I think that I can still make improvements. To improve it I stole the best elements from the “Who kissed who in Friends” chord diagram demo. I still think that I can make further improvements, but I need to explore the coding options a bit deeper to figure out what changes I would like to make. With this version, I may be able to add in the full names of the institutions in a future version.

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