bad graphics

And no graphics misunderstandings, but graphics that are bad or equivocal.

How can you make, of the data represented in a graph, a mess?

Here are some recipes, taken from El Pais:

  • 1. The axes are not complete
  • 2. the scale is not maintained throughout the graph
  • 3. 3D graphics with misleading
  • 4. There is little data.

The first two things are common:

  • They can not compare 6 and 8 starting from an axis whose minimum value is 4 (8 look great as two times 6).
  • if it comes to data presented from year to year, you can not switch to the months.

On point 4 we see something more interesting.

What happens if there is little data?

When the missing information, you may suspect of “cherry picking“, i.e. who chose the numbers that help to support the claim that he did create the chart. You need not provide all the information we have, but if you want to be honest, you have to give context. If you can not give all the figures, you can add and use the average value.



PP tweet on social spending wrong

tweet de PP sobre gasto social errado


Or this tweet (already present in the outstanding image):


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