Illustrating Reports

If you have tried to follow complex written instructions—such as those for assembling a bicycle—or listened to a detailed explanation including many numbers—such as an insurance agent’s description of the rate structure—you can appreciate the complementary value of visuals ( photos, diagrams, graphs, and tables) to words, either written or oral.

Data visualization—our endless attempt to compress data into images—is society’s way of dealing with the information overload of our age. Data visualization (data viz) runs a wide gamut. Have you noticed that some manufacturers supply only visuals as directions for use or assembly of their products? The infographics format discussed in Chapter 2 is also part of what data ...

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