1st Edition

Visualizing Surveys in R

By Teppo Valtonen Copyright 2024
    326 Pages 115 Color Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    326 Pages 115 Color Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    Visualizing Surveys in R is about creating static, print quality figures from survey data using R. The focus is not, for example, on statistical analysis of survey data, but rather on giving concrete solutions for typical problems in visualizing survey data. While there are many excellent books on data visualization, surveys and R, the aim of this book is to bring these topics together, and offer practical instructions for visualizing surveys in R.


    • Introduction to survey data: variables, categories, and scales
    • Description of a process for visualizing survey data
    • Recommendations for reading survey data into R
    • Advice on building a survey dataset in R to facilitate versatile plotting
    • Step-by-step recipes in R for creating useful plots from survey data

    The book is intended for researchers who regularly use surveys and are interested in learning how to seize the vast possibilities and the flexibility of R in survey analysis and visualizations. The book is also valuable for psychologists, marketeers, HR personnel, managers, and other professionals who wish to standardize and automate the process for visualizing survey data. Finally, the book is suitable as a course textbook, either more widely on survey studies, or more strictly on visualizing survey data in R.

    I Preparation

    1 Survey data
    2 Process
    3 Variables
    4 Categories
    5 Read data
    6 Parse values
    7 Validate data
    8 Pre-process data
    9 Build a dataset
    10 Basic statistics
    11 Create plots with ggplot2
    12 Save plots to files
    13 R Markdown

    II Plotting

    14 Numeric plots
    15 Bar charts
    16 Percentage bars
    17 Diverging percentage bars
    18 Pie charts
    19 Lollipop plots
    20 Dot plots
    21 Heatmaps
    22 Geographic maps
    23 Missing value plots
    24 Validation plots


    Teppo Valtonen has worked for more than a decade at the Finnish Institute of Occupational on assessing and improving cognitive ergonomics in dozens of organizations of all sizes and from many different industries. His responsibility is to develop and standardize the processes and practices regarding survey implementation and survey data management.

    Teppo has graduated as a Master of Science in Technology from the Helsinki University of Tehchnology, today part of the Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. He is currently a doctoral student at the Aalto University doing research on cognitive demands, productivity and performance at work.

    Teppo builds and uses surveys in both research and commercial settings. He has designed questions, scales, surveys and survey forms for research projects, development studies and customer cases. The surveys have produced thousands of observations for hundreds of variables on topics such as cognitive strain, stress, recovery, work engagement, productivity and performance. Typically, Teppo has been responsible for specifying the variables and datasets, managing survey versions, saving the data, validating data and combining data from different survey versions.

    Using R, he has created data visualizations for academic and popular reports alike. He has used R to build automatic analysis pipelines and processes for survey data. He has taught R and given advice on using R in various data analysis and management setups.