A student asked me on our Facebook page to help with an assignment. It got me thinking again about the nature of answers in statistics, and the challenge of communicating through graphs.
The student gave no explanation, but rather a set of data and a choice of graph-type. I have changed the data a little. As the data was about numbers of men and women in different roles in an organisation, I assume the question regards gender equity.
I have used the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel to create some candidate graphs, and I would like you to vote on which you think is the most useful. (And yes – I know that it depends, but in the absence of further information, I’m interested to see what the crowd comes up with.) Pie chart was not an option. Pie chart is almost never an option.
Here are four possible answers for the student. If you click on the graphic it should get bigger and clearer.