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When to Use Tables and When to Use Graphs

Status: Work in progress [what is this?]

I’ve done a fair amount of work in interaction deisgn for data visualization in MI (management Information) and BI (Business Information) systems, mostly around setting graaphical data representation and interaction guidelines for such applications. One of the most basic things which people get wrong again and again is when to use tables versus when to use graphs.

Don’t make that mistake. Use these rules to decide whether you should be using a table or a graph to display data (I’ll add more soon because the other points are not jsut black and white)

Always use a table

  1. When both your independent and dependent variables are qualitative

Always use a graph

  1. When there are more than five data points