Tune in to excellence 2

September 3, 2009

Publication of comparative performance data in the form of spidergrams has been tried before. Between 2001 and 2004, the Home Office published similar statistics for police authorities in such form.

Although an appropriate diagram can ease interpretation and allow rapid visual comparisons, selection and design of the most suitable representation must be done with care. When I compared the police performance spidergrams with more common bar and line graphs, I found that people performed least well on the spidergrams when comparing individual and overall performance measures. I hope that if similar diagrams are to be used for university data, these findings will be considered during their construction.

David Peebles, University of Huddersfield.

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