Just because you can (don't)

Today's example falls into that category of "pointless" as all it shows is a wall of colour, and nothing is gained from the visualisation:
As a parent I have to work very hard to extract any meaning from this chart. I guess I can twig that dark green is better, so the more green the chart is the "better" that subject is. But as a parent do I want to compare one subject to another? Do I want to know that everyone doing computer science got an A/A* (mind you that could be 1 person as the chart shows percentages) and is that subject better than child care, where the predominant grade was E to G? Not helpful.
What am I to make of the fact that some of the bars don't get to 100%? Presumably these learners failed to get any grade - shame on you graphics products 10% failed totally. Again, not helpful

Seriously, what's the purpose of being able to compare results like this?
  • Is it to help inform learners in year 9 taking options of year 10? (ie don't do subjects with poor results?)
  • Is it to pat on the back those good subject? (and conversely shame the poor ones?)
  • Is it to demonstrate how "good" the school is?
Whatever! It fails on all of them.
I can't even Excel-fu a solution as the whole construct of such an idea / chart is ludicrous.

Call to Action
  1. Less is more
  2. Comparison for the sake of it is meaningless

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