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Mastering IDEAScript: The Definitive Guide, with Website by John Paul Mueller

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Chapter 18

Working with Charts and Graphs

Nothing speaks to other people in the same way graphics do. Unlike plain text, graphics help people see patterns in data by helping them visualize it. IDEA supports a number of different chart and graph types for different purposes. For example, a line graph presents data as a continuum, while a pie chart shows data as a part of a whole. This chapter helps you discover the basic charting that IDEA provides and how you can automate using it for just about any need.

Part of the purpose of graphics is to help analyze data. With this in mind, IDEA provides a number of analysis tools, only two of which appear in this chapter. Correlation is a measure of the strength and direction of a linear relationship between the values in two numeric fields in a database. In other words, Correlation helps you understand how the two fields compare. For example, it would be helpful to know if there's a correlation between the external temperatures of a building and the cost of heating. If heating costs rise without an associated decrease in external temperature, then you need to look for other sources of cost increases.

Trend Analysis shows whether data is generally increasing or decreasing over time (or even remaining the same) despite periodic spikes and troughs in individual values. Knowing the general trend in data helps you understand how the data might increase or decrease in value in the future. In fact, IDEA even helps you predict the future based ...

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