I have a soft spot for bad and seemingly hopeless charts and graphs. All they deserve a second chance, so I try to help them out of the gutter. The other day, I was roaming the dirty alleys of El Dorado Hills (don’t ask) when I saw it. The speedometer. Few charts are strong enough to endure so much rejection, and the speedometer, with its single leg, is weaker than most. I was going to help it, show it how Marketing people love it. But I had to lecture it about its drinking problem first. I helped it stand up and, lo-and-behold, it starts morphing right before me.

This is an adult fairy tale. This means that the speedometer looks better now, but it is not a beauty queen by any stretch of imagination. And it returns to its useless nature when sober. So, don’t let anyone see you with it unless it already had a few drinks.


The Drunken Speedometer uses the needle to display a time series, gets rid of the red-yellow-green color scheme and displays an alert. If you can’t get your boss/clients to come to their senses and remove the speedometers from the dashboards, at least try to make them a little richer.

I’d say the time series adds one star to a speedometer (1/5 to 2/5). Do you think the speedometer can/should be saved? Let me know in the comments below (if you still do that kind of thing).

The file is available in my Excel Charts Shop for only $9.99.