'Tis a gift to be simple.

-- Shaker hymn

In June 2015 I published a short article for *Significance*, a magazine that features statistical and data-related articles that are of general interest to a wide a range of scientists.

The title of my article is "In Praise of Simple Graphics." It is based on a blog post "Visualizing the causes of airline crashes."

My article compares infographics and statistical graphics. Infographics are designed to appeal as well as to inform. Unfortunately, a beautiful artistic display can sometimes obscure the data.

In contrast, a statistician usually has a different goal: represent the data objectively and let the data speak for themselves. Standard statistical graphics are purposely free of excess adornment in a Tuftean effort to maximize the data-ink ratio. Their beauty is in their minimalist simplicity.

Yes, I sometimes create complex graphs on my blog. In the past three weeks I've featured spaghetti plots, lasagna plots, and effect plots. However, I create complex graphs only to visualize complex data or models. For simple data, I advocate using a simple graph. I strive to never let the graph get in the way of the data. To paraphrase Einstein, graphs should be as complex as necessary, but no more complex.

*Graphs should be as complex as necessary, but no more complex. #DataViz #StatWisdom*

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You can read my article "In Praise of Simple Graphics" at the *Significance* web site. If you like data analysis, graphics, and statistical ideas,
the *Significance* magazine archives
are a great resource. All issues of *Significance* are freely available one year after publication. Enjoy!

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