Using shapes as a deceptive communication practice is an old trick used for manipulation by one side of an argument. The good news is that Fortune gets it right in its annual publication of Fortune 500 companies. Fortune correctly uses two-dimensional shapes (circles) to depict one-dimensional values such as annual revenues. We’ll discuss this data visualization trick in this brief article.
Suppose your total revenues were $100 per month, and your leading competitor had total revenues of $10 per month. Clearly, you are ten times stronger from a total revenue perspective from your competitor. A one-dimensional graph, such as a bar chart, makes an honest visual representation of the difference.[Read more…]