Five Takeaways from The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Five takeaways

  1. Less is more. “Above all else show the data” (p. 92). Erase everything you don’t need.
  2. “Graphical excellence consists of complex ideas communicated with clarity, precision, and efficiency.” (p. 51)
  3. Keep it proportional! “Lie Factor = size of effect shown in graphic divided by size of effect in data” (p.57). Keep it close to 1.
  4. You don’t have to use a graphic when there isn’t much data — a table is often better.
  5. Pie charts are useless. The dude hates pie charts.

A few surprises

Snow’s 1854 map showing London’s public wells and cholera cases as bars next to the location of death





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Jeff Hale

Jeff Hale

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