The Economist’s charts are usually very clear and helpful, but that’s not to say they can’t be improved – as they themselves show.
Mistakes, we’ve drawn a few
At The Economist, we take data visualisation seriously. Every week we publish around 40 charts across print, the website and our apps. With every single one, we try our best to visualise the numbers accurately and in a way that best supports the story. But sometimes we get it wrong. We can do better in future if we learn from our mistakes — and other people may be able to learn from them, too. …
Let’s start with the worst of crimes in data visualisation: presenting data in a misleading way. We never do this on purpose! But it does happen every now and then. Let’s look at the three examples from our archive.
Mistake: Truncating the scale