We often take liberty with facts in our casual conversations or interactions on social media. Much of it has to do with our biases that shape how we seek information and subsequently relay that to others. We even present data in a manner that suits an agenda or objective of a project.
It’s for this very reason that I find raw presentations of data more useful when not accompanied with commentary or opinion. It is to invite the audience to do the bear minimum of examining your work and forming their own opinions. I would not be surprised if two people made two very different conclusions after absorbing this graph! And that’s ok, as long as they are prepared to defend their summations. Unfiltered presentations encourage critical thinking, something we must demand of our audience not to do it for them.
I used the graph below (courtesy of fivethirtyeight.com) to make my point. Approval rating of past presidents is one of those topics that finds many storytellers, most of whom paid or driven to express an opinion rather than objectively presenting recorded historical evidence.
Wouldn’t you rather Let Data Speak?