Can You See the Chart Under the Notes?

Annotating your chart helps your audience to understand the reasons behind some patterns or outliers. But, please, please, don’t bury the data under boxes and arrows and busy grid lines, like this one on the right does (from WTRG Economics). How can you improve a chart like this? First of all, the series must be … Read more

Chart Design: Abortion Ratios 1980-2003

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (original Excel file). The abortion ratio is defined by the number of abortions per 1,000 abortions and live births. (Click to enlarge) Notes: 1. We know that information visualization is all about pattern detection. But often our design choices hide relevant patterns behind the obvious one(s). Take this panel, for instance. … Read more

The consultant’s chart: a dilemma

How do you sell your outrageously expensive consulting services? Simple, just add a chart… Not every chart will do, of course. Let me outline some basic design rules of what I call a “consulting chart”: It shouldn’t be recognizable as a standard chart that you could create in Excel; It shouldn’t use popular eye-catching design … Read more