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Scale-cramming

Reader Andrew C. was unhappy about the following stacked bar chart, published by Teach for America, touting its diversity. (link)

Tfa_diversity2012
The lightning symbol that splits apart the Caucasian bar is a harbinger of trouble. For the designer deployed seven different scales -- in a bar chart with seven bars. The following chart reveals this idiosyncracy. In each revised bar, the blue portion is made proportional to the length of the bar. The implied full length of the bottom bar literally ran off the page!

  Redo_tfa_diversity

Even if we ignore the gray bits, the blue portions are still not proportional as the much-too-long 0.5% section shows.

It would appear that the key piece of information is buried in the subtitle and does not feature in the original chart. In the revised version, I highlighted the 38% people of color, and then showed how that proportion splits by race.

  Redo_tfa_diversity2

Comments

Andrew C

I love the redesign, nicely done.

jlbriggs

I also like the redesign.

But just to demonstrate that a plain old bar chart does the job quite well also:

http://jsfiddle.net/jlbriggs/Ng4uL/embedded/result/

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