12. Don’t: Overwhelm with charts

A dashboard that sets out to answer a specific analytical challenge prompt, but instead plots anything and everything to do with a particular protocol, will likely make your reader (and your peer reviewers) walk away without specific takeaways and insights. That is, if they are patient enough for the many charts to finally load.

Instead, the Do tip # 7 (maximizing the data ink and minimizing noise) is a better direction to take. Reduce the cognitive load (Knaflic, p. 71) that a busy reader (or reviewer) must devote to understanding your analysis. You want to avoid the reader’s cognitive load reaching a tipping point, where they either speed-scroll to the end, or altogether give up and close the tab.

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