Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 21:18 | SYDNEY
Saturday 21 Jul 2018 | 21:18 | SYDNEY

Banks: Fun and mischief with graphs


Stephen Grenville

30 January 2009 15:09

The bank graph Sam linked to yesterday may be 'neat', but it caused a flood of complaints to FT's Alphaville blog because it uses one of the '101 Ways to be Misleading with Graphs'. In this case, the eye reads the area, whereas the data is proportional to the circumference of the circle (or the radius, for that matter). It should be a bar graph, but that would be less dramatic and stylish, and when they were caught out, they should have changed the format.

Ian Macfarlane and I addressed this general issue twenty years ago. We'll have to add this one to our examples when we revise this timeless gem.