If you are thinking “looks fine, what’s the problem?” then you don’t work with numbers very much. That’s cool, I find them frustrating but necessary. If you instantly notice, well, notice isn’t the right verb because those stupid blue and purple bars are so ingrained in your head that it’s more like an instantaneous subconscious recognition, that NSF is presenting unmodified Excel charts in their report then you are familiar with quantified data. You’ve made thousands of such things (and have probably long since abandoned Excel), but you know how utterly lame it is to present such a figure. The colors, the stupid symbols for “Line Charts”, the inappropriate scale it always picks, the gridlines…fuck. You have to take that shit and customize it! Failure to do so is lazy and/or naïve, it is the equivalent of sticking some unmodified SPSS statistical summary into your paper as a Table or starting a paper with the dictionary definition of your topic. The Oxford Dictionary defines “grant” as the: blah, blah, blah. The horror! Seriously NSF? You can’t do any better?
Is there a qualitative data equivalent? Shakespeare quotes, images of “The Thinker” or something?