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Graphing Techniques Of VisiCube
VisiCube is, above all else, a graphical tool.
At its heart are the microscopes with which you can examine your data
in great detail. These microscopes use a small set of simple plot types
to create complex and informative visuals.
Samples of the high-quality visuals which can be generated with VisiCube's
microscopes, using these types of plots, can be accessed and viewed through the
menu on the left.
A univariate plot in which a statistical summary of
the distribution of a measure is presented graphically.
A univariate plot in which the distribution of a measure
is presented across pertinent quantiles.
A multivariate plot in which a comparison of the
measures is presented.
A univariate plot in which the variation of a measure
across time is presented.
In addition to these plot types,
VisiCube utilizes a number of graphing techniques which are most appropriate
and useful for detailed analysis, but often not provided in competing tools.
Some of these are described below.
One difference is the absence of the standard tick-marked scales.
The data area of a graph is generally fitted exactly to the applicable range
of the data values with the extreme values displayed at the boundaries.
This is based on an idea presented by Edward Tufte in his book,
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (Graphics Press, 1983).
In such graphs, the data area is often divided into a grid of equal-sized regions
which allows the distribution of the data to be immediately and directly evaluated.
Another innovation, one which eliminates a potential cause of confusion,
is the restriction of data values to statistically significant digits.
Generally, scales use values with a maximum of four significant digits
and a standard scientific (power-of-ten) notation which indicates the magnitude.
This power-of-ten is always a multiple of 3 indicating thousands, millions,
thousandths, or the like. This allows for more direct and accurate understanding
of individual values without the confusion of insignificant digits.
Finally, unlike many other graphical software packages, VisiCube explicitly
handles duplicate observations of a single measurement.
When such occurs, each duplicate is reported and a visualization technique
is utilized to make the duplication apparent to you.