A deadly sin of quantation: the pie chart

BVWireIssue #166-1
July 13, 2016

Everybody likes pie, but stay away from those pie charts, advises Randell Bolten, the author of Painting With Numbers: Presenting Finances and Other Numbers So People Will Understand You. At the recent NACVA conference in San Diego, BVWire attended Bolten’s session on “quantation,” his portmanteau of quantative and communication. Quantation is the act of presenting numbers, such as financial results, electronically or in written form for the purpose of informing an audience. As an appraiser, you want your audience to spend more time absorbing the information in your reports and less time trying to figure out how to read your reports. Bolten gave attendees his list of “deadly sins” of quantation, one of which is “Using a pie chart. Period.” So stop doing that, he advises.

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