Have you ever wondered why your carefully worded report to your board wasn't supported, or why clients sometimes ignore important features in their accounts? The solution may be to use well-designed charts and diagrams. I've just finished studying some of the work of Edward Tufte, a professor at Yale University, who teaches courses in statistical evidence and information design. Not a promising subject you might think, but it's actually fascinating. Here are two of Tufte's stories about the potential of excellent visual explanations. In the US in 1987, John Gotti was acquitted of Federal racketeering and conspiracy after a seven-month trial. A fundamental weakness in the case was the prosecution's reliance on evidence from criminals. This was brought home to the jury by means of a simple chart. Written across the top were the names of seven principal prosecution witnesses. Down the left-hand side of the chart were listed 69 crimes, including murder, heroin possession and sale, and pistol whipping a priest. Finally, the chart was marked with thick black crosses indicating which crimes had been committed by which witnesses. The resulting forest of black crosses persuaded the jury not to rely on the evidence of those witnesses. In 1986, seven astronauts died when the NASA's space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after its launch. Two small components - rubber rings - in the craft leaked. They had lost their resilience because of the very low temperature that day. The day before, the engineers had opposed the launch. They had faxed 13 pages of information to NASA to support their worry about the stability of the rings when cold, but were unconvincing. In Tufte's view, if they had shown the whole history of ring failure, if they had given weightings to the different degrees of damage and had shown this evidence against the temperature when the launches were made, the increasing problems with the rubber rings at lower temperatures would have been clear. With launches above 750F there had been no problems; at the coldest launch to date, 530F, significant problems had developed. The fatal launch was at 290F. Clarity creates understanding and understanding encourages action. What might we comprehend from a visual presentation of Nick Leeson's transaction records and Barings' cashflow in the months before the fall? - Ann Baldwin FCA is a management trainer and conference speaker.
PUBG news and updates: November's Update #23 to bring new Skorpion pistol and changes to blue zone visibility
Genuinely useful side-arm coming to PUBG in Update #23
Asda, Morrisons and Tesco in the frame for checkout facial recognition technology
Research opens up new possibilities for structural batteries, where the carbon fibre forms part of the energy system
Another shape could have indicated hard-to-detect particles