What’s in a Name vs. When Is a Name? A Data Viz


What’s in a Name vs. When Is a Name? A Data Viz

by Danny Steinmetz

Depending on your age (and many other factors), when you read the phrase “What’s in a name?” you may think of one of two things:

  1. A soliloquy from Shakespeare where Juliet bemoans, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other word would smell as sweet.”
  2. A lyric from The Lion King’s “Hakuna Matata” where Pumba “thought of changing [his] name.” To which Timone asks, “What’s in a name?”

But I’m not here to write a thesis juxtaposing The Lion King and Shakespearean literature (especially not Romeo and Juliet; everyone knows Hamlet is the real inspiration here).

How Names and Culture Intersect

Names can often reflect different fads and values of a given society. Whether you’re thinking of naming your child after your favorite fictional dragon queen or trying to determine why there are so many 73-year-old women named Linda, there’s data for that. My job, with help from Jimmy Steinmetz (whose last name here is not a coincidence) and Chelsea Morgan, is to visualize this data.

So, please take a look at the Tableau dashboard below, and explore the various names! If you are interested in names other than your own, I’ve started with a name that has gained quite a bit of attention recently, especially on social media …

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More About the Author

Danny Steinmetz

Analytics Consultant
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