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Everything is Seasonal

This github repo is designed as a place to store/reference the data, code, and sources behind my 'Everything is Seasonal' talk at OpenVisConf.

The presentation itself can be found here


If your data includes change over time, take seasonality into account.

Seaonality are patterns that repeat over known, fixed periods of time -Wikipedia.

Assume that your metric has a seasonal cycle.

6 recommendations

  1. Consider the seasonality of causal factors
  2. Aggregate to time periods that make sense for your data
  3. Sometimes seasonality is the story
  4. Adust for seasonality when estimating the impact of an event ('causal analysis')
  5. The seasonality that matters most might be in a subset of your data
  6. Seaonal patterns vary by place, culture, and lifestyle

Analysis Tools

Introduction to Time Series Decomposition

De-seasonalizing data with X-12 ARIMA

Seasonal package in R

Blog post about seasonal adjustment with this package

Online interactive seasonal adjustment with R's seaonal package

Decomposing a time series with STL

Original 1990 article on STL decomposition.

Intro to STL

STL in R. Note that STL operates on an object of the "ts", or time series" class. So, you'll need to convert data to this format first.

Bayes Impact Analysis with the R package CausalImpact

Google Blog Post describing Kay H. Brodersen's Causal Impact package

Causal Impact R package

Inferring causal impact using Bayesian structural time-series models

Kim Larsen, of the Stitch Fix technology team, wrote a blog post describing their implementation of these methods: Making Causal Impact Analysis Easy

More general Timeseries, Forecasting, and R

Check out Hyndman's work

Analyzing Functional Time Series The curves/functions/components that drive machine learning might also have seasonality. "Recent advances in computer recording and storing technology have tremendously increased the presence of functional data, whose graphical representation can be infinite-dimensional curve, image, or shape. When the same functional object is observed over a period of time, such data are known as functional time series."


C02 data

C02 data at Mauna Loa, Hawaii observatory. Source. Filename: c02-maunaloa.


Daily data from Google's Big Query sample data. Based on data from the CDC.

CDC Vital Stats for minute of day data - see here for details to replicate

Gun Sales Data

Described here

Additional charts/analysis related to births and birthdays

Aki on Gelman's blog. Chris Mulligan shared on Gelman's blog and Chris' work as he presents it.


1985 Tractor Accident Study

Prison Sentences - not included in presentation as data was about # of cases a judge reviewed since previous break, but there is a relationship to time of day. In short, if you're going up for parole, hope that your case is first thing in the morning or right after a snack/lunch break.

Pathogen seasonality - also not included in presentation, but shows seasonality for different illnesses

Some Techniques for Visualizing Seaonality data

Cycle Plots

Data Viz Examples

Flickr Flow by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg

[Weather Circles by Zan Armstrong]( YORK&metric=normalTemperature&colored=1)

Ville Vivante by Interactive Things and the City of Geneva with Data Processing by the Near Future Laboratory, data from Swisscom, collaboration with the Lift Conference.

20 hours of Boston Traffic by Andy Woodruff using a script from Alyson Hurt. Project and analysis described by Andy on his blog.

Gun Sales Soar After Obama Calls for New Restrictions. Gregor describes the process and source data on his blog.

Why People Visit the Emergency Room by Nathan Yau of FlowingData

Visualizing MBTA Data by Mike Barry and Brian Card

Traffic accidents by Nadieh Bremer



By Eirik Solheim: One Year in One Image

One year in One Image Image Diversity

Mauna Loa Observatory( Mauna Loa Observatory

Time is a Dimension: Fong Qi Wei

Other images are from Pixabay. "All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty-free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required."

Other Interesting Sources Related to Seasonality

Flight delays and cancelations

Visualization of Time-Oriented Data


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