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No, it's not common to see this kind of visualisation. Bad visualisations? Yeah, they're pretty common. The usual mistake is overuse of Pie Charts.

I'd recommend the OP (and anyone else who has an interest in communication) to read:

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Visual-Display-Quantitative-Info...

Information Dashboard Design http://www.amazon.co.uk/Information-Dashboard-Design-Effecti...

Now You See http://www.amazon.co.uk/Now-You-See-Stephen-Few/dp/097060198...

Ironically, the OP recommends that you read The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, as well. I suspect that the mediocre example (I thought it was reasonably readable and somewhat interesting) was there more as a demonstration of the fact that R makes non-scatter plots easily, too.

It's from http://www.jasondavies.com/parallel-sets/ and is one of the example plots for http://d3js.org/

I must say that the icicle plot of the same data is way more readable. The crisscrossing lines are all but useless to get a feel of the data.

go to http://www.jasondavies.com/parallel-sets/ and click on icicle plot to see what is going on.

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