There’s the saying that you shouldn’t miss the forest for the trees. Don’t get so caught up in all of the details that you miss the big picture. This works with data too. Don’t let noise distract from overall patterns, lest you want to make wishy-washy decisions.
However, it also works the other way around. Don’t miss the trees for the forest. Don’t let summary statistics like means and medians distract you from the individual data points. Don’t step so far away from the data that you miss the details that provide meaning to the overviews.
To access this issue of The Process, you must be a member. (If you are already a member, log in here.)
The Process is a weekly newsletter on how visualization tools, rules, and guidelines work in practice. I publish every Thursday. Get it in your inbox or read it on FlowingData.
You also gain unlimited access to hundreds of hours worth of step-by-step visualization courses and tutorials, which will help you make sense of data for insight and presentation. Resources include source code and datasets so that you can more easily apply what you learn in your own work.
Your support keeps the rest of FlowingData open and assures the data keeps flowing freely.