Booze, bonks and bodies | The Economist

The various Bonds are more different than you think

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Michel Baudin‘s comments:

Once hailed by Edward Tufte as purveyor of the most sophisticated graphics in the press, Britain’s “The Economist” has apparently surrendered to the dictatorship of the stacked-bars.

Of course, unlike most other stacked-bar charts, this one is entertaining but, to a humorless curmudgeon, it is also a case-study in bad descriptive analytics. It’s harmless here, but it’s not harmless in business or technical reports with ten bars stacked up in each column.

First, kills, conquests, and martinis are not quantities you usually add and, second, the chart only supports comparison among actors for the bottom bar, the kills. conquests are martinis are difficult to compare visually, because the bars don’t start from a common base.

If you want to use bar charts to describe data by categories, use parameters that add up, such as sales revenue by product and region, or defect frequencies by product and type of defect. Unless the categories you want to use for the x-axis time periods, use horizontal rather than vertical bars.

Then show one chart for aggregate sales by region and a separate chart for each product, If you really want to make it visually clear which of Pierce Brosnan or Sean Connery had the most conquests per film, draw a separate chart.



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