When Tufte talk about visual statistic, he used two example. The first one is cholera epidemic in London and NASA’s space shuttle. I have heard a short version of the cholera and John Snow’s story when I was a kid. Snow used several kinds of graph and analyzed them, by analyzing Snow did find the cause and solve the problem. As a statistic major student, when I use graph or data, I just use them to solve the homework, I don’t even think about what a good presentation of data can solve problem in real life. I did not read the space shuttle part thoroughly. I think it is just another example to make the point that, good design, clear and precise visual representation can solve the problem easily.
A good visual statistic should be objective and don’t try to fool people with dramatic difference in the graph while comparing data. The example here is trying to convince people tuition does not worth. If look closer, you can see the problem, it is just 4 year tuition and one year earning and also education is not something that can be quantified by the amount of money made. I think people who made this graph probably did not get enough education to understand the reason of it.
Question: to build the set of statistical analysis like Snow, you have to be will trained so that you know what you do can be useful. But like us, like for the case study, we probably do not certain about if it is a good representation of data and therefore solve problem or lead to a conclusion. Do you have some advice for dummies.