St Patricks Day Infographic

Welcome to Grade the Infographic, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: I take an infographic and grade the data in it. I have three criteria I’m looking for in my grading: source of data, accuracy of data and accuracy of visuals. While some design choices annoy me, I’m not a designer, couldn’t do any better, and won’t be commenting unless I think it’s skewing the perception of the information. I’m really only focused with what’s on the graphic, so I also don’t assess stats that maybe should have been included but weren’t.  If you’d like to submit an infographic for grading, go here. If you’d like to protest a grade for yourself or someone else, feel free to do so in the comments or on the feedback page.

Welcome to Grade an Infographic and Happy St Patrick’s Day! I thought I’d go with a bit of a theme this month. A quick look around the web led me to this infographic from the History Channel:

Okay, to start things off, let’s take a look at the references.


Oof. History Channel, really? Not good. You give me the edition for the Holidays Festivals and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, but not a specific link for information?  Some of those looked slightly useful so I didn’t do a full 10 points off, but not a great start.


This is one of the problems when big groups put out infographics with no sources. I don’t know where this came from, and now the first 2 pages of google results cite this infographic as a source.


Okay, not bad. As with any historical figure, these are somewhat in dispute. However, these seem to be the most commonly agreed upon ones.


So the parade length changed in 2011, and since there’s not a date on this infographic I took half a point off.  By the way….best line from the parade FAQ: “The Parade has not been cancelled due to bad weather. That said, the Parade has marched in a variety of meteorologic conditions that have included various examples of inclemency.”


So apparently let its domain registration lapse last year and it’s now a site in a language I don’t read. Still, I found some data here and baby names here. The crowd number discrepancy confused me until I realized the 100,000 is probably an estimate of those who watch the dye go in, and 400,000 is the estimate of those who see it throughout the day.


These all look about right, based on what’s listed here. Digging a little, it looks like they may be 2011 numbers?


Okay, and there we go! Based on the Census Bureau table here, this looked about right.


Overall, a pretty nice effort from the History Channel. The only downside was a lack of useful sources and a lack of a year. With the internet being what it is, ALL infographics should really have a year of creation so people don’t continue to quote things past the dates they are valid. This goes double for large websites that know they get a lot of traffic.

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