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Data manipulation by hiding trends

In the series of uncovering different types of data manipulation, let’s talk hiding trends.


Hiding unfavorable data, such as decreasing revenues, profits, and client numbers (as shown in the first graph), can be achieved by presenting them on a cumulative chart that adds up to 100% (as shown in the second graph). This makes it harder for the viewer to see the company's poor performance. Analyzing the percentage share of each category as a whole requires more focus and interpretation. In the second graph, revenues appear to be increasing, although only their percentage share is growing compared to the other two values. If the percentage of revenues goes up and the percentage of profits goes down, it means costs are increasing. A decreasing number of clients can also indicate trouble for the company, but it is not a clear indicator of a bad situation if the remaining clients still provide the same income. The purpose of the cumulative chart is to deliberately conceal information and present the company in a different light.


Happy presenting




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