plcow: Kelly Jackson, who teaches at Camden County College in Blackwood, N.J., would like to see better practices in charting, where the Y-axis should always start at 0 when possible. "One of the problems my students have is interpreting data and graphs that don't use '0′ as the starting point," Jackson said. "Imagine a graph that starts vertically at 500 and shows bars of height 550 and 600."This is one of mine. The news always zooms in the Y-axis, thus showing wild volatility that is normal in nature, but that smooths out when you zoom out and show the whole chart. You might not always have to show zero, but at least show the entire range of the data as far back as needed to tell the whole story.
DerAppie: plcow: This is one of mine. The news always zooms in the Y-axis, thus showing wild volatility that is normal in nature, but that smooths out when you zoom out and show the whole chart. You might not always have to show zero, but at least show the entire range of the data as far back as needed to tell the whole story.Showing zero is something that should always be done. I have seen far to many graphs which, at a glance, look like they show very interesting data. But then you look at the axis and you'll see that the y-axis goes from 500 to 550 with point one being 505 and point 2 being 545. Since people suck at remembering where they got information form there will be people who remember that the graph showed a very large difference, the second bar was 9x the size, but the other people who will keep correcting them will note that the difference was less than 10%.Example: you want people to stop eating crayons because it is bad for your health. Which of these graphs would you show them?
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