Florida Healthcare Costs

If you read any Stephen Few for more than a minute, you’d realize he emphatically stresses clear and simple-looking visualizations.  Well, he does in the one O’Reilly book I have of his where he spends a considerable amount of time pointing out what NOT to do.

With this in mind and looking for an excuse to keep playing with Awesome Tableau Software, I decided to take another look at the Healthcare Costs Data previously talked about at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’.

This time, I restricted the data to the state of Florida (I’m here) and decided to drop the map.  The hopeful intent of this visualization is to provide the needed information as fast as possible.  As before, I cannot embed here but provide the link instead.  Just click on the images to play with visual.



And for perspective, this is what Stephen did.



US Healthcare Costs

… and here is a quick and dirty graphical overview of the discrepancies in cost per diagnoses across the US.  This was done with Tableau and recently made available data shared on previous post.

Click on the image for visualization.  Free WordPress won’t let me embed!

Healthcare Costs Across US

Medical Provider Charge Database Download

Data is provided at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services here. This dataset is being both in Excel and CSV formats.

Data looks like this:

DRG Definition


Provider Id


Provider Name


Provider Street Address


Provider City


Provider State


Provider Zip Code


Hospital Referral Region Description

AL – Dothan

Total Discharges


Average Covered Charges


Average Total Payments


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Flex OLAP Cube – updated

I’ve added ability to consume URLs whose output is XML as a data-source for Flex OLAP Cube. Check it out 🙂

Going thru this exercise has helped me understand a bit about creating data cubes and the uses they serve. This is but one of the many interesting (to me) things I am exposed to at work. Doing this from scratch provides me with insight unattainable with a ‘shrink-wrap’ tool.

Note – I had originally fetched data from accross the web but had to store xml files internally for show and tell. Enjoy.

Movielens OLAP Cube Slicing And Dicing On Demand

I wanted to write the post ‘Slicing Your Own OLAP Cube’ but I am not there yet. From my last post, a recurring theme in my friends comments was that the dimensions and measures that can be inspected where set in stone. I thought I was doing fairly well but I can see their point. Having a cube and having it sliced in a way you don’t need is kinda useless.

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Movielens – Movie Ratings Analysis with OLAP Cubes

For this post, I will describe how to use the previously provided database to create data cubes from the Movielens Dataset.  With these cubes, I will then create a few reports using Adobe Flex to illustrate the advantages of using data cubes for reporting instead of the more traditional ‘query and report’ practices from live databases, etc.

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Movielens OLAP – Database Download – updated

1. I have broken down mysql dump file to a set of individual files per table. I got some complaints on unreasonable file size.
2. I’ve now included 10 million movie ratings as well which I hadn’t because of size as well. Now its a file to itself and you can skip if you find it difficult to import.

I’ve finally gotten around to posting the database online to share. This olap database is a star schema of movie ratings and movie topic tags as described on previous posts (here and here).

The set can be downloaded from Infochimps here. I will post any updates there as well.