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]



One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?

Best Data Visualization Projects of 2016

Here are my favorites for the year.

How to Spot Visualization Lies

Many charts don’t tell the truth. This is a simple guide to spotting them.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.