CHAPTER 3Visualize data

Data in a transactional format is not very useful for spotting trends or identifying outliers in any reasonably sized set of information. Taking data and summarizing it so that a reader can more easily absorb a large amount of information is a highly important last step in the data analysis journey. Recently, as business users have started to experience a deluge of data, trends have been moving toward more visual means of presenting data as a starting point in analysis. A lot of focus has been put on building dashboards and scorecards that enable a user to start analysis at a highly aggregated entry point, and can then be guided through the process of drilling down to details as more “why” questions are asked.

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