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Visualizing Halloween Monsters

I’ve spoken before about the fact that for our weekly GovLoop staff meetings, we usually do an ice breaker to kick things off. You’ve learned a little bit about us through some of those icebreaker results we’ve shared, like the best advice we’ve ever received.

But did you also know that at our staff meeting, a chosen GovLoop-er is required to give everyone a five-minute show-and-tell — on anything they want? We’ve had show-and-tell presentations on everything from copy editing, to HTML and CSS, to how to meditate. And because this week is leading up to Halloween, GovLoop design fellow Jake gave us an extra-special show-and-tell: All About Monsters. (OOooooooHHHhhhhhOOOOO!)

I’ll go through Jake’s excellent presentation below, though you’ll miss out on his hilariously deadpan presenter style. Just make sure, as you read, you’re prepared to learn everything and anything about a scarily wide variety of types of monsters (what the heck is a cambion? Scratch that; not sure I want to know).

But as Jake said towards the end of his show-and-tell presentation, what he really wanted us to take away is that we should remember that old information can be displayed in new ways. Historical information about monsters and Halloween can actually make some fun data visualizations. With just a little bit of research and effort, maybe your next presentation can transform some eerily boring facts into a lively experience for your audience.

And now, on to the monsters…

So, Jake started off: He wanted to talk to us about what the best Halloween monsters were. But first, he wondered: What IS a monster?

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 3.55.56 PM

Based off that, Jake pulled a list of “monsters” per those definitions from Wikipedia… and came up with this monstrously (har har!) huge list.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 3.56.52 PM

That’s obviously a crazy amount of monsters. He had to narrow it down for us. But first, he thought it might be useful to spend some time exploring the history of Halloween — because his main goal was to talk about the best kind of Halloween monsters. Not just any piddly everyday monsters.

So here’s a brief timeline of how the history of Halloween developed.

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 4.02.56 PM

And a nice map of most of the places where it’s very popular to celebrate Halloween.

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 11.36.07 AM

After thinking a bit about Halloween monsters and associated geography as well as combining redundant monsters, Jake was able to narrow his list of awesome monsters down, and categorized them. Jake explains: “I removed duplicates, and consolidated monsters that were too similar, and then I narrowed it by definition, taking out human-animal hybrids, and monsters that were just giant versions of normal animals.”

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 4.07.29 PM

Good job, Jake! He thought he could narrow it down even further, though, picking up only on monsters that associated strongly with Halloween history and elements (undead, demons, etc.) So then he presented us with this list:

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 4.11.22 PM

But from there, how do you really determine what the best Halloween monsters are? Well, like any good pop-culture-educated Millenial, Jake turned to IMDB – the internet movie database. Searching each of the terms above, he discovered which terms came up most frequently, and from there he presented his final best Halloween monsters list to us:

Screen Shot 2014-10-30 at 4.11.27 PM

So there you have it. Jake’s extremely scientific presentation about what the best Halloween monsters are.

Do you agree? Disagree? Think the “elemental spirit” should have won? Have ideas for how to make your presentations more fun? Sound off in the comments. And most importantly — get yourself some good candy this Halloween.

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Geoffrey J. Smith

I loved this, I’ve always been a big fan of monsters old and new, nice to see which monsters prove to be the most popular!

I was wondering, is there any sort of readable version of the ENORMOUS list above?

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Visualizing Halloween Monsters | Beyond Frequency

[…] govloop.com – I’ve spoken before about the fact that for our weekly GovLoop staff meetings, we usually do an ice breaker to kick things off. You’ve learned a little bit about us through some of those icebreaker results we’ve shared, like the best advice we’ve ever received. But did you also know that at our staff meeting, a chosen GovLoop-er is required to give everyone a five-minute show-and-tell — on anything they want? […]

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