Data cannot save us from ourselves

Clay Johnson, author of The Information Diet wrote on Twitter: Redistricting should be done with data & open source software, not by humans. Let me be completely honest: I don’t like golden calves and I can spot two in this single sentence: technology and data. Yes, redistricting should be done with data and technology, but the … Read more

Is Your Chart Really Answering Your Question?

We are so busy creating sexy charts to illustrate some random data that we often forget to check if our chart really answers the question. Heck, most of the times we don’t even have one. Chart first, ask questions later. One of the major differences between tables and charts is this: a tables says “here … Read more

Chart-Making: Cures for Loss Aversion

Loss aversion – wrong chart example JunkCharts writes an interesting post on how loss aversion can happen in chart-making. The general concept of loss aversion tells us that “people strongly prefer avoiding losses than acquiring gains”. Translated to chart-making, it means that there is a “tendency to avoid losing data at any cost”. “To clarify, … Read more

You want answers, but do you have questions?

A chart is always an answer to an underlying question. If you don’t know the question be prepared for random answers (300-slide Powerpoint presentations, anyone?). Do yourself a favor and and write down the questions that define your project. Group them meaningfully and use them as chart titles. Each chart may prove irrelevant or force … Read more