Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How To Make Graphs That Work

Andrew Gelman:

Aleks pointed me to this good advice from Seth Godin on preparing graphs. Some snippets:

1. Don't let popular spreadsheets be in charge of the way you look . . . when you show me something exactly like something I've seen a hundred times before, what do you expect me to do? Here's a hint: Zzzzzz.

2. Tell a story

3. Follow some simple rules

- Time goes on the bottom, and goes from left to right

- Good results should go up on the Y axis. This means that if you're charting weight loss, don't chart "how much I weigh" because good results would go down. Instead, chart "percentage of goal" or "how much I lost."

4. Break some other rules . . .

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