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Disentangling a Diverging Bar Chart

Simon Rowe tackles a problem:

Have you ever found yourself looking at a graph for the first time and felt immediately overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information presented?  It can leave you wondering not only how to understand it, but also what decisions led to the creation of such a complex visual in the first place.  

Nobody sets out to make a confusing communication. Most dashboards or visuals start out quite simple…but over time they may be leveraged to do more, provide more info, and support more requirements all at once. After all that, by the time you encounter it for the first time, it’s thoroughly impenetrable.  

Read on for one extreme example of scope creep and how to draw out the most important messages.