Fail: Area Circles on Wall Street

Posted to Mistaken Data  |  Nathan Yau

I know next to nothing about the economy, stocks, and investments, but I do know a little bit about charts and graphs. The above area circles were prepared by someone at JP Morgan. I don't know, you might have heard of 'em. The circles are based on data from Bloomberg and meant to show the change in market value from 2007 to 2009. The problem here is that the creator sized circles by diameter instead of area, so the difference looks ginormous. I mean, the value change is significant but not that big.

Here's the revised version from a Big Picture reader, Rene Corda:

Now look at the original version again. Big difference, right?

Circles are 2-dimensional shapes. You can't use them and expect people to compare two circles by diameter, a 1-D metric. Sorry, JP Morgan person. You fail.

Check out the Big Picture for some more graphs of the same data.

[via Cringely | Thanks, Barry]

9 Comments

Favorites

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

Most popular porn searches, by state

We’ve seen that we can learn from what people search for, through the eyes of Google suggestions: state stereotypes, national …

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.