The art of contaminating data

June 5, 2017
By

(This article was originally published at Junk Charts, and syndicated at StatsBlogs.)

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This is one of those innocent-looking charts that could have been a poster child for artistic embellishment. The straightforward time-series chart is deemed too boring. The designer shows admirable constraint in inserting “information-free” content, such as the dense gridlines (graph paper) and the 3D effect (ticker).

Seem harmless but not really.

Here I turn off the color.

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After the 3D effect is applied, the reader no longer knows whether to look at the top or bottom edge of the ticker.

This view makes this point even clearer.

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The art contaminates the data.



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