Finally, a good place for pie charts

The junk food of data visualization has found a home. Pie charts show up everywhere, just like trans fats. Visual analysis expert Stephen Few condemns them, and I’ll bet Tableau Software designers held their noses the day they added pie-chart templates.

Now in Philadelphia near college campuses, you get pie charts with your pepperoni. The Economist, with help from BBDO Worldwide, has sponsored infographed pizza boxes. Ponder “arable and permanent crop land by country” and “mushroom exports to the U.S.” as you chew.

The charts do look tasty. Did you know that the U.S. has 12.3 percent arable and permanent crop land? Percent of what, I’m not sure. Did you know that India has almost as much as the U.S? That’s what the figures say; I couldn’t tell which of the slices was bigger.

At participating pizza joints.

The data industry thrives on conversation. Please submit a comment.

Other recent posts

Bohemian Grove a la BI

The Bohemian Grove of the BI industry convenes for the fifteenth time in just three weeks. Naturally, you ask the obvious question: Are you serious? The Grove? A summit? The answer begins with a fond recollection of the Grove. If you’ve never attended the Bohemian Grove yourself — I haven’t, though I live in the… Continue Reading

Favorite Star Trek, a data story

This story shows how elemental data stories really are. Humans come ready to tell and hear them, requiring no plug-ins at all. This young person can do a good job of it. There was a question, followed by data, then questions and answers, and and finally a conclusion. It’s all there. It’s elementary. Sure, this… Continue Reading

Bad stories stop good data at the water cooler

We agree by now that data’s a good compass. One neglected question is tougher: Which map? Everyone’s known the kind of “grouchy guy” TDWI instructor Kellee M. Franklin, Ph.D tells about. This guy knew better than most of his co-workers about how their Washington, D.C. defense agency worked. And he was frustrated. Over the years,… Continue Reading