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Posts: 18
Reply with quote  #1 
How would you best visualize progress against a goal when lower is better?

Most bullet graphs or bar graphs with a goal line indicate to a user that you want to "meet or exceed" the goal.

In this case, I want to be "at or below" the goal, so I suppose goal really means upper limit.

Here is the general feel of my dashboard.  The metric on the left is a "meet or exceed" metric.  The metric on the right is "at or below" and lower is better.


Posts: 99
Reply with quote  #2 


Steve has talked about this issue on his blog in an entry about bullet graphs, which you might find helpful. The blog entry had 44 comments at the time of this writing, so you’ll be able to see several different perspectives on the issue. When using bar graphs, instead of bullet graphs, some of the suggestions don’t apply, but many of them still do. Also, I’m not sure whether this is discussed in that blog entry, but in many cases if you want to maintain the “longer is better” convention with your bar graph, you might be able to express the measure as its opposite. For instance, in a school, the absentee rate is a measure that you want to be low, but with its opposite, the attendance rate, higher is better.

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