Importance of Data Visualization

Why is data visualization important or for that matter required?

Data can be indecisive. The way we decide about data is its central tendencies mean, median and mode. These are the data properties that help us make decisions without looking at the data in pictorial form. But the question is, are these enough? Is it applicable in all scenarios?

The answer to that is no. We can not always rely on central tendencies as they can sometimes be deceiving. It is still a good idea to visualize the data. There is a famous example of such a dataset. It’s called the Anscombe’s quartet. There are four datasets in Anscombe’s quartet.

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Anscombe’s quartet data set.

The above shown four data sets have more or less the same central tendencies. If you calculate, they would appear to be:

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Central Tendencies for Anscombe’s quartet

At this point, if I ask you a question. Are these four datasets the same or different? What would be your answer? Same?

Looking at the above numbers, could you make any conclusive decisions about the data sets? No! Let’s see if plotting data helps. Let’s plot each set’s data in a scatter plot and see if we can find any differences.

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Anscombe’s quartet scatters the plot.

The above graphs clearly show the nature of the data sets. The moment we draw the scatter plot of all the four datasets and compare them side by side, it becomes evident that these datasets are different and very different from each other and not even close. The time required to make the decision is also decreased dramatically.

Conclusion: Data visualization is the most efficient way to gather insights.

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I look after Technology at Thinkitive. Interested in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, IoT, TinyML and many more areas of application of machine learning.

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