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Visual Intelligence: Microsoft Tools and Techniques for Visualizing Data by Adam Jorgensen, Joe Salvatore, Mark Stacey

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Chapter 4

Building Data Sets to Support Visualization

This chapter focuses on the building of data sets and storing them in formats conducive to data access and creating great visualizations. We will cover a number of common and more unique data sets and discuss specifically the uses, types of data, creators and consumers, and benefits or drawbacks to each data source.

What Data Sets Are

Data sets are groups of information that may be stored in a number of formats in today’s digital age. These formats can include lists of customers, products, sales records, or even logs from a server or computer system. These sets are then combined in a number of different ways to produce information that businesses can use to drive decisions.

Why We Need Them

We need these data sets to help us answer questions such as these:

  • What are our customers buying?
  • What products are the most profitable?
  • What kinds of trends do we see in our sales over time?
  • How do these trends affect the buying behavior or volume of sales?

These and other questions are important to any organization that is looking to get more insight into how it does business. Your business is often faced with these kinds of questions (and their more complex versions), and having data sets available to work with will enable folks (soon to be you) to gain the know-how to use them to provide answers.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

How Data Sets Are Created

Data sets get created in ...

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