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Quality in Information Delivery Part 3:
Common Mistakes in Information Expression (Misuse of Color, Inconsistent Dimensions, Unreadable MS Excel Defaults)
January 2011
Michael Scofield

At the start of this series, we noted that proper data expression is required to highlight potentially useful information. Such data expression is achieved by transforming raw data from digital media into a form that humans can read and understand. The result is almost always a tabular and/or graphical expression.

To be useful, such information expressions must not be misleading or vague. Data quality across an enterprise cannot be complete without addressing the quality of the expression of information.

Our first article in this series focused on common errors in the use of Pie Charts, while our second installment explored data expression errors with Line Charts. This third article will explore the misuse of color, the challenges to the reader when dimensions are presented inconsistently, and the unreadable nature of MS Excel chart defaults.