Monday, September 14, 2015

Mersereau's "Wunderground Uses Fox News Graphing Technique to Boast Forecast Skills"

Mersereau, writing for Gawker website The Vane, provides another example of How Not To Graph. Or How To Graph As To Not Lie About Data But Make Your Data Look More Impressive Than Is Ethical.

Weather Underground (AKA Wunderground, weather forecasting service/website) was bragging about it's accuracy compared to the competition. At first glance (see below), this graph seems to reinforce the argument...until you take a look at the scale being used. The beginning point on the X axis is 70, while the high point is 80. So, really, the differences listed probably don't even approach statistical significance.

This story, somewhat randomly, also includes some shady graphs created by Fox News. I don't understand the need for the extra Fox News graphs, but they also illustrate how one can create graphs that have accurate numbers but still manage to twist the truth.