Visualising uncertainty – a case study

Data presented in chart form can seem so authoritative, so seductive, that we might forget to question how much faith we can place in the actual numbers presented. This would be a mistake – understanding the extent to which we can rely on data is an important part of developing our chart literacy.

A key point is realising that data is never perfect. Just like humans, data suffers from flaws, sometimes insignificant, sometimes critical.

  • Error. This can be systematic – a measuring device was calibrated incorrectly, or a survey designed with bias so that it’s not recording what we think it’s recording. ...

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