Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reaction : Effectively Communicating Numbers

All businesses have a lot of data and they require statistical quantitative information for decision support. This information needs to be conveyed to them in an effective summarized manner or a drilled down detailed one using graphs and charts. This paper expresses how graphs are to be designed in an intuitive way for such business support.

The paper talks about how the data that is to be presented is to be determined foremost and then a suitable way to display it using graphs or charts. I felt that this was an important point as the same visuals cannot be used for different info. It's extremely essential to understand what needs to be presented and then think of the most intuitive, simple way to display it.

The paper describes the ways to display various variable values and relationships, how information is to be intuitive and descriptive and how to remove distractions from a graph. The paper talks about the specifications to be followed for effective communication of data. However, I feel that the paper could have included details about comparative graphs, importance of filters, interactions, animations, colors and several other visuals other than graphs (like charts, heat maps) which can play an important role in business decision support.