Chapter 5. Data Visualization
Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.
— Arthur Brisbane (1911)
This chapter is about basic visualization capabilities of the
matplotlib library. Although there are many other visualization libraries available,
matplotlib has established itself as the benchmark and, in many situations, a robust and reliable visualization tool. It is both easy to use for standard plots and flexible when it comes to more complex plots and customizations. In addition, it is tightly integrated with
NumPy and the data structures that it provides.
This chapter mainly covers the following topics:
- 2D plotting
- From the most simple to some more advanced plots with two scales or different subplots; typical financial plots, like candlestick charts, are also covered.
- 3D plotting
- A selection of 3D plots useful for financial applications are presented.
This chapter cannot be comprehensive with regard to data visualization with
matplotlib, but it provides a number of examples for the most basic and most important capabilities for finance. Other examples are also found in later chapters. For instance, Chapter 6 shows how to visualize time series data with the
To begin with, we have to import the respective libraries. The main plotting functions are found in the sublibrary
One-Dimensional Data Set
In all that follows, ...