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The fact that the integer labels on the left plot do not correlate with the labels on the right plot is very confusing. It would have been more natural to use country letter codes instead.

Besides that absolute integer rank is not very important and a relative rank is easy to discern based on the vertical axis.

Also, your metric "any or all of the three test subjects." seems to make no distinction between someone good in just one subject versus someone good in all three? Isn't some sort of additivity (however imperfect) important? An outcome with an all-round good student should be better than an outcome with a student good in just one subject?

Is GDP/capita a good measure to normalize by? I'd rather go for average income or PPP or some such.


Rahul: the charts were created to explore the data. it's not supposed to replace the original. If you are focusing on individual data points rather than the pattern of points, you're missing the point of the exercise. Replacing the original is besides the point when the data offered do not address the question at hand. Besides, you haven't defined what your metric of achievement is.



Fantastic post. I have also become more concerned with the fundamentals underneath both the methods and assumptions BEHIND the data. We sometimes get so caught up in "whats the best way to visualize this?", that we forget the more important question: "is this data even valid?" / "are we asking the right questions?".

Of course real world data collection has innumerable constraints and I recognize this fully.

Again, nice post, good to take this view once in a while.




I think the best critique of the original infographic is if we can present a credible alternative infographic that does better at answering the question posed.

It is easier to provide piecewise refutations and improvements but capturing it all in one useful graphic doesn't follow easily.

e.g. the labeling difficulty in a scatter plot with clusters is not easily scrubbed away.

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