Re: Improving Upon “Good Enough”

While I was researching about data visualization, I came across this wonderful blog: “Storytelling with Data,” by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic. After browsing through the front page of that blog, I decided to read the post “Improving Upon “Good Enough”.” Here are some of my thoughts on the contents of that post.



I have some thoughts about the bar graph below that Ms. Knaflic did not mention in her blog post.

This bar graph is from another blog post called “Comparing Mortgage Credit Variables by Applicant Age: Millennials have the lowest credit scores, and highest LTV and DTI Ratios,” by Archana Pradhan.

Without reading the original blog post where the bar graph is displayed, and by looking at the bar graph alone,…

  • I wondered how many people the surveyor gathered data from for each category (generation, single-borrower application, and joint application); and
  • I believed that the data was collected throughout the entire 2016 year just from reading the date “2016” on the bottom right-hand corner

These two thoughts of mine reveal major problems with the bar graph that should be addressed by revising the visual data itself, not by addressing excluded and confusing information through text.

Yes, the bar graph compliments the textual content of the original blog post. However, it is crucial that visual data convey as much important, clear, detailed, and honest information as possible because visual data can be…

  • shared by other reporters; and consequentially
  • shared with diverse, unintended audiences

Therefore, a data visualization designer should be wary of how…

  • people’s eyes are attracted to visuals first, a string of text second, and individual words last; and
  • people better process information that stands out to them the most

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