Simplicity With Data Visualization Is Still Best

NPR has a few graphs breaking down the 47% of people who don’t pay income tax (which many people have been discussing due to a comment from Mitt Romney). But who are the 47%? This simple pie chart breaks things down:

There are a few other graphs included in the story which you should definitely click-through to read. But the point here is the visualization is easy to understand — and thus it is being widely shared.

Pretty colors and creative elements are fine in data visualization, but as we (and others) have said before, simplicity is best. When proving your point with data don’t overcomplicate it. And be skeptical of those who do: whether visually or with Potemkin numbers. In many cases, this is an indicator they’re attempting to hide something.