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Data at Work: Best practices for creating effective charts and information graphics in Microsoft® Excel® by Jorge Camões

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12. Relationships

As we’ve seen, to explain the world is to look for relationships among the facts we observe. While you’d think it would then be easy to take the next step, to answer the “why,” most of the time it isn’t so easy.

Since discovering relationships is an essential step to knowledge-building, it’s only natural to think that data visualization would have the right tools for revealing the why in these relationships. But in fact, that’s only half true at best. When we see two series in a line chart varying in the same direction, it’s tempting to conclude that there’s a direct correlation between them. However, as we learned in the preceding chapter, this may not be true (even if the author has tried to prove it by adjusting scales in ...

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