Pretty graphs mean nothing

Posted on October 20th, 2010 in Agile, Visual Management by siddharta || 10 Comments

We spend a lot of time thinking about visualization. How can we take information that is generated in a project and visualize it in a way that generates insights. Generating insights is important. There are any number of ways to create pretty graphs. But if the graphs don’t generate insights, don’t spur you to take action when you need to, then it has failed.

My mind goes back to innumerable project management tools with hundreds of reports. Each report is usually a single line, bar or pie chart containing so little information that its next to useless.

I got reminded of this again when I came across this graph:

What a mess. How can anyone make out anything at all?

It’s certainly pretty, but pretty graphs mean nothing.

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10 Responses to “Pretty graphs mean nothing”

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