Dr. Nicolas Bissantz is founder and General Manager of Bella, the info viz expert. Bissantz makes the sparkline tools SparkMaker and SparkTicker and a Business Intelligence package called DeltaMaster. But Nicolas Bissantz is also the author of »Me, myself and BI«, an evocative and amusing blog which is my topic for today.and master of
Bissantz’ sidekick Bella has her own blog, where she deals with less weighty but equally important info viz topics. Bella muses on various topics, frequently showing a bad graphic and a reworked and improved version side by side.
The Me, Myself and BI blog is only updated fortnightly, but when it is published, it is clear that Bissantz has earned his devil’s horns. In Lots of froth he describes an ill-fated attempt by a business magazine to invent a currency based on cappuccino. My first glance at the faux small multiple graphic made no sense, and I doubt it had anything to do with my poor grasp of German.
Each of the items in this image occupies a similar area, and each has roughly equivalent blobs of bright red obscuring its message. In fact, the actual units of display, the cups of cappuccino, are distorted. Despite the magnitude of the value, the cappuccino cups are adjusted in size to occupy the same area. Apparently the serving size ranges from a thimbleful to a gallon (which is what, about a liter in Europe?). There’s even an error in conversion, as the stated price for a cup of cappuccino is substantially less than the costs of cappuccino on the street.
Bissantz has retrieved the raw data and constructed his own version of the data. I don’t really know what the numbers are supposed to represent, not related to coffee at all, but perhaps something about the burden of undocumented fees? The online translation engines are confused and my high school German is not up to the task.
Despite my ignorance, I can see instantly that the range from the highest to lowest is 50 to 1. In fact, the highest is 1/3 greater than the second highest and almost three times the third highest. All this from a boring little bar chart. Who would have expected that?
“Lots of froth” describes much of today’s info graphics; as does “decaffeinated”. This bar chart is dark roasted, rich and flavorful.
Disclosure: This review is unsolicited and unpaid. It was spurred only by my amusement at the latest Me, myself and BI blog entry. I receive no monetary gain from mentioning Bissantz and the Bissantz line of products, except indirectly in the event that Google places a Bissantz advertisement among my hosted AdSense ads.