Column graphs prepared for an annual report – taken out of context
Graphs are used to impart information. Here one graph tell us that learning and development sessions for staff have increased by 50% with a 13% increase in attendance. What we don't know is whether both figures represent the same number, suggesting that there is room for more L&D session or if there are unattended L&D sessions. In isolation, without content, graphs can be open to misinterpretation.
On the other hand, the graph showing guilty pleas pre trial shows us just how few cases get to trial compared to the number that start the process – and that is the story that this graph is meant to tell. Put the data for another year beside it and it will change to be a comparison and then it will need context to explain any changes in the data between the periods.