Murphy Choy

Visualization: The double edged sword

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2011 at 2:09 am

Many recent developments in Business Intelligence have been focused on the field of Visual Analytics. There are now many tools that one can use to visualize their data in charts and advance visual plots. The tools may even have an interactive portion that allows one to select subgroups.

I do not deny the benefits of a good visual display. Any good visual display simplifies the need for complicated statistics and cumbersome testing. However, with any simple tools, there lies danger within.

Any visual displays can be manipulated in ways to distort information which can distort the truth. This is particularly easy given the ease of use of charting packages available now. I have seen several such examples in recent days on the internet as well as Newspaper.

A word of advice when analyzing charts is to take it with a pinch of salt and verify any additional beliefs with tests. A far more safer proposition.

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