While reading Fearful Symmetry by Brian Lee Crowley, head of the Macdonald Laurier Institute, I came across a paragraph about Quebec and the extent to which it subsidizes its businesses. I began thinking about how to represent the information visually. I ended up spending hours figuring out what to include and how to present it.
- Should I exclude subsidies to Quebec’s daycare care program, as suggested by my friend Vincent Geloso?
- Should compare subsidies to GDP, or some other measure, such as the number of private sector employees in each province?
- Should I include more provinces, which would make the graphic more complete, or fewer, which would make the information easier to interpret?
- Even though I like the circles used by infographics guru David McCandless, they weren’t clear to people I showed it to. Should I use bars? Or pie charts?
The end result was surprisingly spare: