This graph plots sales data from three different car manufacturers on a timeline. The addition of competitor data creates a comparison and that information – when combined with experience – can be interpreted in a variety of useful ways. By adding market forces to the timeline a rich level of context is provided which allows for greater interpretation and forward planning. For more about how this transition from data to interpretation works, see our diagram on Understanding Information Design.
The graph is dynamic, allowing data inputs to be turned on and off and date range selection, to narrow down the information being displayed which makes it a compelling tool to use when presenting data and decisions.
By providing information in context you enable viewers to develop knowledge and become clever at decision making. The clever people amongst us are those who understand what they are seeing to the extent that they can make decisions based on that understanding.