A picture is worth a thousand words – or is it?

Every graph and chart in every report must support decision making (not aim to rank as one of our Worst Charts)
Decision making is the reason-for-being of reports …. If the image isn’t communicating a clear story it becomes just a colourful a waste of space…
These are three examples of the worst charts – all bad for 1 simple reason; they don’t tell their story clearly!
worst charts 1 Image
worst chart 2 image
worst chart 3 image
Do this checklist for every graph and chart you create – everyone will thank you for it…

  1. Is all the Data present?
  2. Are the axis clearly visible?
  3. Do any lines intersecting the data add clarity or confusion ?
  4. Is the title informative?
  5. Are the graph tags all correctly associated to the right piece of data?
  6. Is the graph simple, or are there too many dimensions (do you need two graphs)?
  7. Do all axis have Scales and do all scales start at zero?
  8. Is a message self-evident, or does the view have to make calculations/assumptions?

Really great information on data visualisation, graphs and charts, plus resources, can be found at www.hichert.com. These “worst chart” examples came from their “chamber of Horrors”

Feel free to Share your worst graph examples…