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ERIC Number: ED243892
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Pages: 68
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
How to Display Data Badly. Technical Report No. 82-33.
Wainer, Howard
The aim of good data graphics is to display data accurately and clearly. This definition is used as a point of departure for developing 12 rules of bad data display: (1) show as little data as possible (minimize the data density); (2) hide what data you do show (minimize the data-ink ratio); (3) ignore the visual metaphor altogether; (4) only order matters (The Pravda School of Ordinal Graphics); (5) graph data out of context; (6) change scales in mid-axis; (7) emphasize the trivial (ignore the important); (8) jiggle the baseline; (9) order graphs and tables alphabetically; (10) label illegibly, incompletely, incorrectly, and ambiguously; (11) more is murkier (more decimal places and more dimensions); and (12) if it has been done well in the past, think of a new way to do it. Although the tone of this presentation is light, and points in the wrong direction, the aim is serious. The 12 "rules" point clearly toward an outlook that provides many hints for good display. (BW)
Educational Testing Service, Research Publications R-116, Princeton, NJ 08541.
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ. Program Statistics Research Project.
Identifiers: Data Display
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Statistical Association (Cincinnati, OH, August 16-19, 1982).