You know what they say about statistics: That they occupy a space on the truth spectrum somewhere past both lies and damned lies. But even if we're familiar with the quote, it doesn't seem to make us any less interested in turning to stats for information - or for getting others to see our point of view.
It's hard to resist a compelling bar graph or pie chart, especially one that tells us something we've already long suspected to be true. After all, who can argue with cold, hard numbers?
Except, of course, as the old truism suggests, numbers can be manipulated in such a way that is not exactly a lie, but an even more egregious form of misrepresentation. In a bid to show us yet again how true this is, Vali Chandrasekan at Bloomberg Business Week came up with the following infographic designed to show us just how deceptive infographics can be.
As he writes: "Need to prove something you already believe? Statistics are easy: All you need are two graphs and a leading question."
Here are some of the dubious claims Chandrasekaran was able to make, armed with nothing but statistical evidence: