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Does this chart tell the sordid tale of TI's decline?

The Hustle has an interesting article on the demise of the TI calculator, which is popular in business circles. The article uses this bar chart:


From a Trifecta Checkup perspective, this is a Type DV chart. (See this guide to the Trifecta Checkup.)

The chart addresses a nice question: is the TI graphing calculator a victim of new technologies?

The visual design is marred by the use of the calculator images. The images add nothing to our understanding and create potential for confusion. Here is a version without the images for comparison.


The gridlines are placed to reveal the steepness of the decline. The sales in 2019 will likely be half those of 2014.

What about the Data? This would have been straightforward if the revenues shown are sales of the TI calculator. But according to the subtitle, the data include a whole lot more than calculators - it's the "other revenues" category in the financial reports of Texas Instrument which markets the TI. 

It requires a leap of faith to believe this data. It is entirely possible that TI calculator sales increased while total "other revenues" decreased! The decline of TI calculator could be more drastic than shown here. We simply don't have enough data to say for sure.


P.S. [10/3/2019] Fixed TI.




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Glenn Rice

It's "TI" (tee eye, as in the initials of Texas Instruments), not "T1" (tee one).



GR: Thanks!


Well, as you said that you lack data, therefore we cannot say its really declining.

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