What is the role of visualization in evaluating numerical data?

An experiment.

Why visualize data at all?

Visualized and presented data are much easier and faster to grasp and understand than mere numbers. This is how the human brain works.

With a little visual support, even this sentence here is easier and faster to grasp than without. As I said, the human brain works this way.

Let's do a little test:

How many times does the number 9 appear in the following columns of numbers?

(Take a close look at the following numbers and consider which approach is best to achieve your goal.)

How long did it take to come to a conclusive result?

And how much effort was required? - Quite a bit!

Wouldn't it be easier if there were a small visual aid?

Something like this:

This clearly speeds up the process of finding the result.

The mental energy required? - Significantly lower!

"WALL OF NUMBERS"

BETTER!

But of course, it can be even easier.

More visual aid means even less effort:

CLEARLY MUCH BETTER!

That's exactly what it's about: visual representation simplifies dealing with columns of numbers by a very high factor. Visually presented and prepared data are much easier and faster to grasp and understand.

Let's compare again:

Rather confusing

With slight visual aid

Intelligently and efficiently visualized!

This is exactly how we understand the role of visual representation in analyzing complex quantitative data: as a central gateway to complex data that saves energy and enables us to make more accurate and precise statements.

The right visualization not only provides faster and better information, but it may also provide significantly more useful information.

Take a closer look:

Here, we not only get the desired result for the number 9 at a glance, but we also gain important insights into all numbers from the sample at once. Overall, this represents at least a nine-fold (!) gain in information in this case - in a fraction of the time!

This is exactly the role of visual representation in analyzing complex quantitative data.

Conclusion

Visualization is the central gateway to complex data that not only shows the essentials at a glance, but also allows for new perspectives on the data, promotes new insights, and enables productive discoveries.

Imagine all the information waiting to be discovered in YOUR data once it is tamed and presented in a comprehensible way!