The Effect of Weather on School Attendance | Interactive Information Display by David White


The Client

South Asian Youth Action (SAYA!) is a Community-Based Organization (CBO) headquartered in Queens, NY. SAYA! offers programming for students at (9) school locations in Brooklyn and Queens, NY.

In 2018-19, SAYA! worked in partnership with Richmond Hill High School to conduct interventions aimed at reducing the number of chronically absent students at the school.

The Problem

School leaders at Richmond Hill High School felt that the weather was negatively impacting their school’s attendance rate. An analysis was needed to determine whether or not the data supported this claim and, if so, what proactive steps could be taken to help solve the attendance problem.

The Solution

I created the following data presentation to address the school’s needs:

Key Features & Benefits:

  • The relevant data is presented in a clear and easily accessible format. The graphic allows trends to become immediately apparent.

  • The graphic includes a quick filter which allows users to adjust the view to show only the data within a user-selected range of dates. This allows users to independently scrutinize any particular period of time in which they are interested.

  • The graphic’s color-coding highlights extremes in temperature and precipitation allowing for quick analysis.

The Process


In order to prepare the materials needed for this project, I completed the following steps:

☑ Talked to teachers and school leaders in order to gain a clear understanding of their needs and concerns

☑ Gathered raw data in.csv format from the school information system (SIS) and other sources

☑ Checked the raw data for errors and inconsistencies; wrangled the data into a consistent and uniform tidy data format

☑ Applied calculations and array formulas to the data set in order to calculate totals and averages by category

☑ Drew insights and initial conclusions from the calculations in an effort to inform and shape the design of the final data presentation


Having gathered and edited all needed materials, I then used Tableau software to  create a data visualization which showed correlation between  the school’s absenteeism and the weather conditions. This data presentation was shared with teachers and school leaders in their weekly meeting. The information was used to help identify best practices and inform next steps for the attendance intervention program.

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