Chapter Six

Static and Moving Patterns

Data analysis is about finding patterns that were previously unknown or that depart from the norm. The stock market analyst looks for any pattern of variables that may predict a future change in price or earnings. The marketing analyst is interested in perceiving trends and patterns in a customer database. The scientist searches for patterns that may confirm or refute an hypothesis. When we look for patterns, we are making visual queries that are key to visual thinking. Sometimes the queries are vague; we are on the lookout for a variety of structures in the data or any exception to a general rule. Sometimes they are precise, as when we look for a positive trend in a graph.

The visual brain is a powerful ...

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