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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi All,

Need some back up, and/or input on this one.  My manager, and many others across our company seem to be big fans of putting year over year data, forecast, and growth, all in one graph.  I feel like it's a total eyesore, and far too cluttered.  I'm much more in favor of splitting out the two.  Or simply narrowing in on what the more important metric is and showing that alone.  I also find a bar graph a strange choice for growth numbers.  Am I overreacting??  Does anyone feel this approach has any merits vs say two graphs stacked vertically?  



Posts: 852
Reply with quote  #2 

The primary problem with this graph is the fact that it uses two scales, which can create a great deal of confusion. The simple solution, as you suggested, would be to create two graphs, one above the other, with this year, last year, and forecast in one graph and year-over-year (YoY) performance in the other.

Ordinarily, lines work better than bars for displaying change through time, but in this case the weekly YoY values, expressed as percentage differences, bars are probably a good choice. By using bars, the pattern of change through time is de-emphasized, and in its place invididual YoY values are featured as independent from one another. It's appropriate to de-emphasize the pattern of change in this case because it's somewhat misleading, for it doesn't represent how weekly bookings changed through time but instead how they changed through time in relation to the previous year, which is a pattern that isn't easy for people to understand.

Stephen Few

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks Stephen, and interesting/valid point on the bars showing growth.  I appreciate the input!

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