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Everyone has an opinion about graphs and charts. “That’s beautiful!” “That’s misleading!” But few people have precise language to describe what they like or don’t like about data visualization. Drawing on ten years producing the Junk Charts blog ( http://junkcharts.typepad.com ), the premier source of online dataviz criticism, I have developed the Trifecta Checkup framework for appreciating data graphics. This framework also serves a guide for improving one’s charts, as good artists must develop a discriminating eye for the strengths and weaknesses of artwork.
Kaiser Fung provides training and advisory services in business analytics and data visualization. He held leadership roles in building and managing data teams at Vimeo, Sirius XM Radio, [X+1], and American Express. He is the creator of the acclaimed Junk Charts blog (http://junkcharts.typepad.com/junk_charts), which pioneered the genre of critically examining graphics in the media; and author of Numbers Rule Your World and Numbersense, both published by McGraw-Hill. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, and is an adjunct professor at New York University. His work has appeared in The Daily Beast, Harvard Business Review, American Scientist, Significance, Financial Times, Wired, FiveThirtyEight, and CNN.