Is more always better in your data viz comparisons? Even if you come out on top of an economic development statistical comparison, there is a school of thought that says clutter dilutes impact. And really, isn’t it sometimes the case that you don’t stop at the “top ten” because you are number 12? Other people who may have to work with large data sets, but economic developers can choose what data points to include.
So, choose wisely. For a pie chart, more than too or three slices is too many. For a line chart, some say limit yourself to 5 – 7 lines if you want to maintain your viewers’ interest. And don’t get me started on those too-bubbly bubble charts.
Don’t make it too easy on yourself by only choosing comparisons that make you look great but don’t include places that really don’t come up too often as places you draw prospects from or compete with just because they were included in the original data source. In other words DESIGN YOUR DATA – just because someone else calls it a report doesn’t mean you should use it in its original form.