- Data Points
A Quick Guide to Spotting Graphics That Lie
We tend to believe what numbers say, but just because they're on a chart, that doesn’t make them true.
Data Points is a new series where we explore the world of data visualization, information graphics, and cartography.
Numbers themselves don’t lie, but how we represent them can be really misleading. While charts and graphics can help us visualize large amounts of data, they can also be dangerous in the wrong hands.
The good news first: If the chart is not plain lying, just playing with the way we perceive visual information, there are some tips you can use to reveal the truth. The bad news is that you might have to do this analysis quickly if a chart flashes by quickly on a TV screen. Also, let’s be honest: Not everybody is willing to look further into a chart if the result confirms what they want to believe.
If you want to detect a cheating chart, here’s a quick