Visualization of the Week: Plots Don’t Lie?

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On March 27, health insurance enrollment through the ACA’s exchanges surpassed 6 million, exceeding the revised estimate of enrollees for the program’s first year before the March 31 open enrollment deadline. Then on March 31, Fox News showed a skewed chart (see below) to suggest enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would come up far short of the initial estimate of 7 million enrollees. A thing like that wasn’t missed by any data scientist watching the program (or just about anyone else paying attention).

Here’s a tip to Fox News – during exploratory data analysis, you can get away with not including units on your y-axis, but for final expository plots, especially those broadcast to the nation, let’s get with the program!




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