Can you see the wood for the trees?

At MFG Vision we receive many requests from customers. Some requests are for help with a problem that can might be able to be solved with the right data analysis. Some are requests for “make me a chart of this!” Both are interesting opportunities. Let me share an example of the latter type. We were asked to make a chart to include the data shown below:
MFG_Curve_Chart_AWhat does this show us? It looks like the data is unstable, then increases and then starts to disappear. Not much else to be read into it.
Now try removing extreme outliers:

MFG_Curve_Chart_B
Now we can see that the majority of the early data is very stable and that there is a more gradual move to increase in the data.
But is this the appropriate chart for this amount of data? Our customer thought so until we showed them another option:
MFG_Curve_Chart_C
Now we can see the behavior of the majority of the data far more clearly. The earlier plots made it very difficult to see how the values are increasing steadily before dropping off again.

This is a great example of what can happen when people want to see all of their big data. That’s not to say that it is never appropriate to show all the data. But finding the right type of chart and the right way of representing the data to give the right level of information is key. If you’re frustrated at looking at the wrong level of detail, either too much or too little, in your data then contact us at MFG Vision and we’ll see how we can help you.