Taken from the January 4 edition of The Times newspaper, this infographic seeks to explain the history of VAT (Value Added Tax) rates in Britain for the last 25 years (or so). A great idea for an infographic: lots of data, a complicated issue – it is the perfect combination for an easy retelling in visual form. If only they could have got it right.
I’m not a stats or maths whiz, but even I know that 10% is half of 20%, not a quarter as represented here. And 5% certainly isn’t 1/4 of 8%. This careless infographic is undeniably eye-catching, but when this misleading, surely it is a better idea to just put it in a simple form instead?
The lesson to learn from this is: check, double check and triple check your maths when using data and numbers in your infographic and be sensible when plotting which visuals will look best.