Charting a Lie

We often see clients who ask us to defend them against studies that make unsupported connections between their products and  health or environmental claims.

Alex Lundry of TargetPointConsulting shows how scientific-looking charts can suggest outcomes that are nonsensical.  For example, the universe of data you select is critical.  (One of his charts shows that President Obama, when compared to every president going back to McKinley, is the all-time “pirate killer.”  His record is sadly diminished, however, when you go back to Jefferson and Madison.)

Another sin is to mislead people into believing that correlation equals causation.  (Lundry shows a slide that correlates the rise in global temperatures with the rise in the number of pirates on the high seas.)  Lundry’s presentation adds an entertaining corollary to Darrell Huff’s 1954 masterpiece, How to Lie with Statistics.


Mark Davis Mark Davis has years of experience writing for leaders at the highest levels of government, politics, business and finance.

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