The Goose/Gander Visualization Series

I’ve been inspired by the Obama administration to start a new series of visualizations. It was this tweet that inspired me:\

“See how well Mitt Romney’s promise to create jobs in Massachusetts worked out:”


First of all, that’s not a “see” sort of thing. It’s just a number on a background.

But second of all, it has become increasingly clear that the Obama administration doesn’t care too much about context in their use of data. They will use any data that is “technically true” to make their case.

I try to play nice in my infographics. I try to provide context and improve understanding. Because of this, there are several visualizations that I’ve abandoned because, although the visualization was compelling, it didn’t increase understanding of the reality surrounding the data.

So I’m going to start a series I’m calling the “Goose/Gander Visualization Series”. If I see something particularly egregious data or visualization usage, I’m going to create something that responds in kind. The difference is that I will call out what I think is wrong with my data.

If someone decides to try to correct me, I will point to original example, insist that they call that one out and then point out that I’m not only aware of the context, I’m giving it to anyone with the desire to find it.

I will only use accurate data, no fudging the stats. But I’ll use all the tricks that the original data used. It should be fun.


  1. […] This is one of the Goose/Gander Visualization Series. […]

  2. leelu says:

    So, can you tell us how the above graphic is technically true, but none the less inaccurate??


  3. Joe says:

    You posted this comment on June 18th. The rebuttal that destroyed the above graphic was posted on June 13th.

    So, to recap for you… If Romney was 47th out of 50, Obama is 12th out of 12 (and not anywhere remotely close to being 11th.)

    And if you legitimately don’t know why the original was misleading, I’ll assign you some homework.

    (1) Check into which party makes the laws in Massachusetts – always, no matter who is governor.

    (2) Check into which party was making the laws in the states that were creating jobs more quickly during Romney’s term.

    (3) Compare, contrast, and present us with your brilliant conclusion.

  4. […] This is one of the Goose/Gander Visualization Series. […]