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This image is from my husband's most recent issue of ESPN Magazine. Now, everybody knows that ESPN is definitely not hurting for financial resources. However, I have noticed that their infographics are consistently confusing. Even my sports-genius husband has no idea what this graphic is trying to say.

One of the biggest issues with the image is information overload. Apparently it is trying to convey information about a team's ranking, bench efficiency, opponents' bench efficiencies, and efficiency differentials. And while all of this information is presented, there are no clear connections between all of the numbers and shapes. The funny part about this graphic is that the article is specifically about the Trailblazers and that this infographic is supposed to be illustrating an issue with that team that could be stated in one sentence. What a waste of space!

The other big issue with this graphic is that there are too many numbers. The way they are organized gives no clear clue to how the numbers are related or their importance. We get numbers for team rank and efficiency differential. Plus we get these strange data labels that are never explained. Something goes from 0-50, but we have no idea what kind of metric they are using.

My other beef with ESPN Magazine is qualitative. They always shape their graphs as circles. Maybe because there are a lot of balls in sports? So confusing.





Totally confused about those shapes and their shading. How does that relate to the numbers? Do they do anything at all or are they just there to look pretty? A great example of style over function.

I've clicked on this picture

I've clicked on this picture several times to try and figure out what it was saying but all I see is a circle of blue. You're so right. There are too many numbers and what's worse is that they aren't even organized in a coherent manner. If I were to flip to this page in a magazine, I would skip right over it. For sports enthusiasts, it seems like this would be a pretty interesting info-graphic, but the lack of connections and the information overload remove whatever was originally interesting about this team's ranking, bench efficiency, etc.

Too complex!

From looking at the graph's legend it seems the graphic has something to do with the team's bench efficiency. This is no typical pie chart however. There are segmented sections leading to the core of the graph which conveys more information, which I don't understand. Too much information as well as too many numbers are to blame.

Say what?

I agree that it's way over the top, no one would take the time out to figure out exactly what the awkward bar graphs in a circle even mean.

I have to agree with the rest

I have to agree with the rest of you. I might glance at this for a second but I would definitely flip to the next page. I don't know what the colors represent and I don't understand why this graph is in a circle. It makes it more difficult to read.