Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Lies, damn lies, and statistics (British Gas)
But when I see crap like this I do not really know what to say.
One thing you really should avoid doing is using a false origin when showing something graphcially.
There are circumstances where the absolute level is unimportant and the relative scale over many things can be shown on a false origin, maybe, but not this case.
This is a simple "how does your gas use compare to last year", and shows last year and this year in some graphical way.
I looked and thought:
"shit, we are using twice as much gas this year, WTF!".
Then I realised the coloured bars were meaningless. In fact we have used 0.84% more gas. Drawn on a true origin, that would have been obvious, and no surprise.
Why even have the coloured bars?
The electric summary is just as bad - looks like we have halved our electric usage when in fact it is down only 12% (though that is not bad).
Sadly both of these are based on estimated readings, so pretty worthless, and rather pointless sending me the summary (in two separate envelopes).