Episode 47: Charts Can Lie, But Here’s How You Remain Vigilant - Featuring Alberto Cairo

Welcome to episode 47 of Data Viz Today. It’s no secret that some charts lie. You might be thinking that only a subset of people who maliciously create a chart to serve their interests are guilty of this, but the truth is, there are many ways in which a chart can lie. You can make a mistake in your design, or use data that’s insufficient, or make conclusions that aren’t accurate. I’m guilty of this, and guess what… so is Alberto Cairo! He wrote a whole book on How Charts Lie based on his experience creating and reading charts.

In this episode, I finally got to ask Alberto’s opinion on some burning questions that I have, like how he personally reads charts to assess their quality, how he’d structure a graphics team today to make sure they create quality graphics, and where he thinks we’ll be fighting misinformation in the coming years. Most importantly, he explains why we shouldn’t throw up our hands and give up on charts even when some mislead us.

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Google PodcastsStitcher, SoundCloud & Spotify.

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Allison Torbancairo, book