Tag Archives: Graphs

Chilling out with The Economist

The Economist has a blog called Graphic Detail, which excels at showing complex ideas simply. Engaging, thoughtful, and often surprising.  Some recent graphs: 1) High blood pressure globally, not just affluent countries here          A recent study in Lancet largely dispels the myth that high blood pressure is a rich country’s problem; it’s prevalent… Read More »

Slideology 2: Use diagrams to tell stories

This is the second section review of Duarte’s Slideology (affiliate link). This agency has become a sensation after they did Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth presentation and also a famous TED talk here. Chapter 2  – Create ideas, not slides. I will largely skip this chapter as the idea of brainstorming, understanding the WHY, sketching out… Read More »

Consulting tip: study charts, tables, graphs

Consultants see patterns. It’s a core part of our job to analyze data, separate the signal from the noise, and interpret the patterns. Some are better than others and it’s a talent that takes time to turn into a skill. Find good presentations and study them. Like an craftsman who can appreciates solid work, geek out on graphs and analyses.… Read More »

Review of 39pg McKinsey Presentation

McKinsey & Company do great work. On this blog, I have written about their leader, culture, high-visibility assignments at the CIA, and Department of Corrections. Overall, have enormous respect for the work they do, and the way they have built their practice. By any measure, they are monolithic at what they do.  So, now I would… Read More »

No more excel graphs, Tableau is the future

Tableau. Yes, this is french for Table.  It is also the most user-friendly, powerful, and amazing desktop visualization tool for consultants. Tableau is a company based out of Seattle Washington, founded in 2003 to commercialize work out of Stanford. Fast-forward 10 years, and it is a publicly traded company of 1,500+ employees, $232 million in revenue… Read More »

Good graphs, look at the Economist blog

I have subscribed to the Economist for 20+ years. Solid reporting. Libertarian angle, but with a strong heart. Another benefit are the excellent graphs. Consultants love graphs. Executives are visual people, and graphs can make an enormous impact without using too many words. The following graphs are all from the Economist blog called graphic detail.… Read More »

Why consultants love maps

Consultants are cartographers at heart. Maps contain a lot of information in a small amount of space. It shows trends, and is usually a very memorable, visual way to see information. Here are 3 maps of the USA that I saw mashed up. . 1) Companies by State, by Steve Lovelace.  Shows big brands by… Read More »

Misleading Graph #1: Starbucks Investor Presentation

Charts can mislead. In most cases, it’s accidental. Perhaps someone was over-eager to show good results, or maybe, just did a sloppy job of formatting. Whatever the cause, it’s bad mojo to put together analyses or charts that mislead. Here are some bad examples from Starbucks’ recently investor conference. You can see all the slides here.… Read More »

A consultant’s confession: I sometimes use “averages”

Consultants know better than to use the word “average” too loosely. It is certainly useful, but too general and sometimes misleading. It’s a good first step, but it is analogous to a chef using pre-cut vegetables or day-old bread. It’s easy, a bit lazy, and potentially dangerous. Look at this histogram. 1. There is more… Read More »

Olympic Trivia

In the spirit of the Olympics, four graphs courtesy of the Economist blog. 1.The types of Olympic games have changed over the years. The Olympics had 26 events in London, but that has not always been the case. As recently as Beijing 2008, there were 28 events.  Well what are some of the events that went… Read More »

How big is the Chinese economy?

These graphs from the Economist describe China’s economy, growth and influence. China certainly has issues (e.g., demographic imbalance, rich-poor disparity, censorship) but you have to admit, China has been putting up some incredible economic numbers. Chinese economy is HUGE. 1) Currently, the Chinese and US economy are approximately the 12-13% of the of global economy… Read More »