The recent referendum on Scotland’s independence from Great Britain garnered great pre-vote speculation from pundits and pollsters alike. CNN’s live coverage on the day of the referendum included the amusing graphic shown above reporting that although 52% of Scots voted No, 58% of Scots voted Yes. Apparently the issue of national independence was so important that Scots decided to give 110% at the polls. The actual results were displayed nicely in the following graphic from the Guardian:
The CNN graphic is a good example of the need for performing some basic data quality checks before displaying information, reminiscent of the joke from Modern Family: “Success is 1% Inspiration, 98% Perspiration, and 2% Attention To Detail.” And the Guardian graphic is a good example of a how a data visualization doesn’t have to be elaborate to be effective.