Yearly Archives: 2015

Let This Chart Fall Off Your Radar

Don’t you just hate things that look really cool but simply don’t work? You know: the fancy all-in-one kitchen gizmo that cuts nothing but your fingers, or the software that’s supposed to “boost processing speed by 64%” and has made … Continue reading

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Posted in Best Practices, Graphs, Newsletters | 2 Comments

Use It Or Lose It!

Have you ever packed and moved from one place to another? If so, you know the cold, hard truth: The textbooks and notes from freshman English are no longer of use to anyone. The spare parts to your long-abandoned childhood … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Newsletters | Leave a comment

“Lower is Better” – Flip the Display!

Several years ago, we bought a house with a truly fabulous kitchen-high-end everything, including a German-engineered faucet that brought us to our knees trying to figure out how to turn it on. (I kid you not: this was a literal … Continue reading

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Posted in Best Practices, Graphs, Newsletters | 1 Comment

Learning to See Data

Imagine my delight when I read a recent New York Times article entitled “Learning to See Data.” It was right up my alley. The article describes scientific work in a branch of psychology called “perceptual learning.” The focus of the … Continue reading

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Children Can Kill You

Every time my daughter Annie would pull some heart-stopping, daredevil stunt in the swimming pool, on the ski slopes, or while roller-blading with her friends, I would hear two distinct voices in my head. The first was my mother’s as … Continue reading

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Conveying Disease-Spread to “Word-Proof Ears”

My daughter, Annie, was a “camp kid”– she LOVED summer camp. We even had a happy song and dance that we all did as summer approached: “Camp, camp, camp, camp, camp, camp, camp…” (Use your imagination here, folks.) She always … Continue reading

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What’s The Damn Denominator?

Here’s what’s making me crazy today: denominators. Specifically, reports and dashboards where the metrics displayed are utterly baffling (and useless) because the denominator is the wrong one for the information to be communicated, or/and the labels that should identify the … Continue reading

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Posted in Newsletters, Statistics (is not a dirty word), Tables | Leave a comment

Seeing the Connections

Have you ever had one of those palm-smacking-forehead moments when you knew that even if it were raining brains, you wouldn’t get wet? Me, too — had one just the other day, as a matter of fact. Here’s what happened. … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Design Basics, Newsletters | 1 Comment