Have you ever been pranked by the data visualization you created?
Recently I was.
It was April Fool's Day.
It was a bright day outside, but I was not allowed to leave my house. So I was working on my next online lecture on how to tell a story using data visualization. The data I was using was about the houses in a locality. It contained information on the lot size, the total household income, and whether they own lawnmowers.
I first tried a scatter plot with lot size and household income. It came out to be something like the below.
I was happy to see a pattern that I expected. It was, the richer have bigger lots.
So I registered this story point and moved ahead with my trial and error.
Until I found the below visualization.
It completely flipped my earlier story upside down!
Now it was telling me, the richer have smaller lots!
Believe me, it was the same diagram as above, with the lawnmower information in different colors and shapes.
So, listen, if you work with visualizations, be careful. They somehow learned how to prank the creator!
Maybe they have grown some artificial intelligence!
Suppose you are a soccer journalist in a newspaper and you missed an important match because you were getting married at that time. How would you write the next day's report?