Mere numbers aren't enough

A plea for visualization

P. Runeson    Lund University, Lund, Sweden


Quantitative data comes with enormous possibilities for presenting key characteristics of the data in a very compressed form. Basic descriptive statistics, like mean and standard deviation, comprise thousands or millions of data points into single numbers. In contrast, qualitative data, with its focus on descriptions, words, and phrases does not come with such tools, leading to wordy descriptions of the analysis. However, mean and standard deviation do not bring the full understanding of the underlying. Thus, we need visualization, or visual analytics, which combine the exactness and compactness of quantitative data with the richness and ...

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