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The right scale

Reconstruction

The following charts showed up in Internet Retailer, and ripe for some reconstruction.
Ir_payment

There are few situations in which a grouped bar or column chart is the best choice.  In such charts, readers frequently have to examine the tips of the bars and yet the bodies of the bars obstruct comparisons.  Placing data labels instead of an axis is a nice touch; lining the labels up would be even better.   The junkart version below uses a dot plot which allows for comparisons within each payment type, and comparisons between payment types, to reveal themselves.

Redo_payment1

The second chart is also unnecessarily complex.  The use of double axes announces trouble, so too does the superposition of lines and columns.   The data to ink ratio of the chart is low because the data in the columns adds up to the numbers in the line.   Crucially, it is always important to clearly point out projected values (versus actual values).  Here is a junkart version.
Redo_payment2
The first revision focuses on dollar volume, showing that despite faster growth, alternative payments are merely catching up to traditional payment growth.   The higher growth rate is applied to a much smaller base!

The second revision focuses on growth rates.  Notice that all values here are projections.


Reference: "New way ahead for online payment methods", Internet Retailer, Nov 2007.

Comments

Sean Carmody

That dot plot is rather elegant and quite reminiscent of an abacus.

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