June 28, 2013
Chart of the Day Makeover: Samsung’s rocketing marketing expenses
Chart of the Day recently published an article on Samsung’s Insane Marketing Budget whose primary purpose was to show how Samsung’s budget has increased over time. The article also pushes the reader towards comparing Samsung to other companies included in the chart. To do so, COTD presented this bar chart:
Before we makeover this bar chart, let’s examine it.
- It’s pretty straight forward to compare the years within a single company, but the emphasis is on time, which means a line chart should be the natural first choice.
- But wait. The years are in reverse chronological order, so turn your head 90 degrees to the left and look at the chart. Without referring to the legend, one would likely assume that the most recent year was at the bottom of each set of bars.
- The bars are colored by year, which makes the comparisons across companies for a given year possible, but not easy. It’s easier to compare the years if they’re grouped together.
- Each bar uses gradient coloring and shadowing. Why? What value does this add?
- They’re using red and green bars together. They’re not thinking about the color-blind folks out there. They should be using natural, color-blind friendly colors.
With this viz, you can now see:
- The trend for each company. It’s much easier to see the large increase in Samsung’s budget, while all of the others in the view are relatively flat.
- I thought it was important to emphasize the difference between Samsung and the other companies, thus the five small line charts, which all clearly show how much more Samsung is spending.