Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dual-Axis Chart - One Handy Solution

Here’s the result of an Excel add-in developed by Graphician.com by which the user can apply the company’s proprietary algorithm to adjust any dual-vertical-axis chart created by Excel 2010 (or later) with a single click. The purpose of the adjustment, as described in the preceding post on this topic, is to scale the plots proportionally to promote more accurate visual comparisons.

Examples on the left show how the Graphician add-in for Excel scales Y-axes proportionally to promote more accurate visual comparisons between the plots.
For more information, including a sample Excel file you can use to test the algorithm, go to www.graphician.com.

Perils and pitfalls of dual-axis displays are covered in Chapter 11: Viewports and Dashboard Displays of How to Lie with Charts - Investor's (Third) Edition.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dual-Axis Charts Can Mislead!

The chart-generating application has scaled these two charts independently, each so it fills its viewport as attractively as possible. However, the sizing of the y-axis scales to fit the windows is not proportional, making comparisons between the charts difficult. (From How to Like with Charts: Investor's Edition, Chapter 11).
A chart with dual vertical axes is useful for comparing two datasets, especially datasets with different units. However, when the two charts are shown side by side, as on a dashboard display, the comparison can be difficult if the y-axis scales of the two charts have not been scaled proportionately. Distortion of results and mistakes in interpretation are likely because typically the chart-generation software has composed the chart for best-fit in the display window rather than for proportional comparison.

The recently released edition of the book, How to Lie with Charts: Investor's Edition, includes the a new Chapter 11: Viewports and Dashboard Displays, which tells how to identify and correct this problem. The price of the new edition has been reduced to $23.99 so it's now the same as the popular second edition, which will eventually be withdrawn from sale. The Kindle price has been reduced to $6.99. Both paperback and ebook versions are available here.

Scaling the Widget chart in the figure above to be proportional to Acme results in slopes that are comparable.

Recently, software vendor Graphician has developed a licensed chart algorithm to solve this problem. The company has implemented its patented algorithm as a plug-in for Microsoft Excel.

In the examples below, without the elongation equalization algorithm, Excel generates by default the chart on the left. The decrease from 100 to -91 and the decrease from 100 to 94 look about the same, but this is a mistaken impression. After incorporating Graphician’s algorithm, the chart on the right correctly shows that the decrease from 100 to -91 is much more than the decrease from 100 to 94.

Patent No: US8,139,065 B2. Patent owned by: Graphician, a brand owned by Chii Ying Co., Ltd.
For further information visit www.graphician.com or contact graphician1122@gmail.com
[The Graphician example is not a sponsored placement and does not constitute a product endorsement by the owner of this blog.]

Thursday, July 16, 2015

LaPuerta Books Releases the Investor's Edition of How to Lie with Charts

June 29, 2015   Entertainment News
(PRLEAP.COM) June 29, 2015 - New material in this updated third edition of How to Lie with Charts includes financial proofreading, inherent flaws of dashboard displays, and basics of stock market technical analysis. The book's emphasis is on catching chart errors and ambiguities - which are often unintentional - whether you are making your own or trying to interpret a presenter's claims.

The author maintains that if you are using a computer to generate charts, you don't have to be taught how to lie – you're probably already doing it unintentionally. He counters this tendency by explaining the principles of persuasive and undistorted visual communication. The goal is careful thinking and clear expression.

Besides being a popular title in the general business trade category, prior editions of How to Lie with Charts have also been adopted as college-level courseware in business math, statistics, and management. The book has been a supplementary text at institutions such as SUNY Empire State College and Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

The book's longevity is testimony to its continuing value and usefulness. It has sold steadily since the first edition appeared in 1995. Data analyst Robin Wolfson, CEO of Datastep Development praised it saying, "It broke our hearts to see this book come out, because it was the one we were planning to write. Having read it, however, we doubt we could have done a better job. Jones addresses fundamental issues of visual perception in a style that is clear, concise, and amusing."

Dave S., who manages a brokerage in suburban Chicago, says of the new edition, "It's worth the price of the book for the new material on technical analysis alone. It's an excellent survey of the basics, in an engaging, nontechnical presentation." Anthony Hitt, CEO of Engels & Völkers North America said, "Who would have expected a book on charts and graphs to be so entertaining? It's an exceptionally fun read (really) and a must-own reference for anyone who presents or analyzes data."

How to Lie with Charts: Investor's Edition is available in trade paperback and Kindle from booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Baker & Taylor. As well, supplementary DVD seminars led by the author can be purchased from Amazon Video: How to Lie with Charts (one-hour seminar), Technical Analysis Basics (one hour), and Financial Proofreading (half hour).

Author Gerald Everett Jones has managed major proposal and business analysis projects in government, healthcare, and commercial sectors. He is the author of more than 25 business and technical books on digital media production, including numerous how-to books on legacy charting applications such as Harvard Graphics and Freelance Graphics. He has also written extensively on PowerPoint and Excel. He has hands-on background in IT systems development and was project leader on the ARTIS computer graphics system, a precursor of PowerPoint.

When Jones is not developing business and technical material, he writes fiction. He's the author of The Misadventures of Rollo Hemphill series of humorous novels, Mr. Ballpoint based on the Pen Wars of 1945, the adult melodrama Christmas Karma, and the forthcoming Bonfire of the Vanderbilts about an art scandal in 1890s Paris.
Contact Information
Robin Bridge
La Puerta Productions
+1 (310) 742-5656
Contact Us

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Announcing Our New DVD Seminar Series

For some time, a companion DVD seminar has been available for the book How to Lie with Charts. The book itself is available both as trade paperback and as ebook (Adobe PDF format). We also added a streaming version as part of the Amazon Video On Demand (VOD) service, making it possible to either rent viewing sessions or buy a download.

Now we’re announcing two new DVD seminars, both on topics related to this popular flagship book. Technical Analysis Basics explains how financial analysts interpret stock market charts to predict future trends and prices. Financial Proofreading hones in on how to make presentations come across as professional and even classy – by enforcing clarity and consistency (the absence of which will invite mistrust of your results).

Taken together with the charts book and its supporting material, we’re calling the series Pitfalls of Business Reporting. (Hope you like the idea – of avoiding them, that is.)
Find video previews, courseware details, and purchase links for all of these products, here.

10% discount available on some titles – only through these links.

Click through to get the codes.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

E-Book Pick of the Month

If you want to learn more about charts and illustrating data, Data Points: Visualization That Means Something by Nathan Yau, is a standout book that we highly recommend. It focuses on the graphics side of data analysis and offers a new perspective on visualization. This will enhance and complement your understanding of what you already knew about charts. (Available in both Kindle and trade paper)               


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Pay Attention and Learn the Difference Between Mean and Median When Reading Charts

Median Net Wealth

Home Ownership


Photos by Zerohedge

Median can sometimes paint a different picture than the mean. The median marks the place in the data set where values cluster. The mean is the arithmetic average. You can cry poor using one tactic or the other as Germany tried to do in these charts. Skewing results by picking the data reduction method is a way to paint a picture of the chartist's desire!