Category Archives: Infographics

Charts Infographics

Confusing pies

I found this today in an article linked by John Walkenbach on Google Plus, which displays results from a survey about air travel:-

The first thing you’re likely to notice other than 3d pie hell is that the percentages don’t add up.  At all.  There is an explanation from this however – respondents were allowed to choose more than one answer.

So why use three pie charts when the data isn’t being displayed as parts of a whole in the first place??

The first pie totals 159%, the second 37% and the third 11%.  That’s a total of 207% over three charts.  What?

I don’t know about you, but this completely and utterly confuses me.  Surely a better method would be just to show the total numbers of each answer chosen, or to in some way rank them in order of importance at the point of selection.  The three disjointed pie charts do absolutely nothing for the data as far as I’m concerned.

Charts Infographics

Wikipedia – Changing charts #3

It’s getting quite addictive this changing bad charts malarkey.  I found this one today on an entry about Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge:-

Another simple fix, really.  Awful fonts and the seemingly ubiquitous 3d exploded pie were just just crying out to be fixed up, so I replaced it with this:-

Once again, much better, or at least I think so.  More to follow.  I might even have a go at this one (thanks to Jorge Camoes for the suggestion).

Charts Infographics Life

My first infographics rant of 2012

I wasn’t planning on having a rant like this so early in the year, but then I saw the following ‘in the wild’ and felt the need to vent.

Every year I get an annual statement from a pension I paid into over ten years ago when I worked for a UK retailer. I usually ignore these as, to be honest I don’t always understand the figures completely and I wasn’t really in the job for long enough that the return will affect me greatly when I retire.

Just yesterday I received my annual funding statement for 2011 and, on opening it, found this table directly comparing the funding level from 2010 with that of 2007:-

Not only was there a shortfall in the overall funding total for 2010, but they felt it would be prudent to display the headline percentages again as this:

I mean, why? This tells me nothing more (less, in fact) than the table shown above. I already understand the figures well enough without a truly awful speedometer graphic to make things ‘clearer’ or ‘more interesting/fun’ for me…the key point is that, at this moment in time there would be insufficient funds to pay out to everybody in the scheme, compared to the surplus in 2007.  If I had a large amount of money stored in this pension fund I wouldn’t be welcoming something ‘fun’ to look at.

With only two data points to display there’s actually really no need for any graphics. The table (at least to me) is understandable enough without taking up unnecessary extra space in the report to ‘clarify’ the key data it contains.  In fact, the speedometer takes up more space on the report than the table does, and this  to only highlight the two percentages – a completely pointless waste of otherwise useful space, I think.

If there were more data points covering more years then a simple line chart like the one below would be much more useful (if a little boring), and would give a better overall picture of what has gone amiss and when – what do you think?

This makes it much easier to see how the fund has changed over time.   In fact, with this in mind I’m interested as to why the report didn’t contain more years’ data…

Anyway, that’s one rant over. The following page of the report then details where the money has been invested.

I don’t need to make any comments on this image as you probably already know my thoughts. At least it totals 100%.

As usual, comments are welcome.

2toria Infographics

A quick word(le) about 2toria this year..

In the new year I’ll be posting an annual report of sorts about activity on 2toria during 2011.  I’ve been looking at some of the data and trying to figure out what will be interesting and not too ugly/useless in the report.  It will be my first ‘infographic’ so I’m really trying to figure out what will look and work best as a decent representation of what the past year has looked like for the site.

During my ‘playtime’, I just ran a quick and dirty analysis using Wordle to see what search keywords have brought people to 2toria.  I haven’t really cleaned the data up, and obviously I’ve only used total keywords rather than actual search terms.  Still, it’s quite obvious from the result what brings people to the site via search.  I know Wordle isn’t a great visualisation tool, I just like the fact it gives a quick result, and one that in some cases does give instant (if somewhat flawed) insight, as can be seen here:-

More useful analysis coming soon – comments always welcome.