Animated proportional Venn diagrams: a study into their description, construction and business application

Hingston, P 2006, Animated proportional Venn diagrams: a study into their description, construction and business application, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Animated proportional Venn diagrams: a study into their description, construction and business application
Author(s) Hingston, P
Year 2006
Abstract Anecdotal observation of the way in which data visualisation techniques are utilised to present relationships in data to audiences informed the author's view that data visualisation had not evolved to utilise the capabilities of ubiquitous business computer equipment. In an information rich but attention poor business environment, a search for a new tool was undertaken to supplement those techniques available to help audiences understand statistical relationships in presentation data.

This search resulted in the development of a practical software tool based on animated Venn diagrams (Dvenn) that attempted to exploit the inherent human ability to perceive quantities visually, a faculty described herein as visual numeracy. The exploitation of this faculty is considered here to be a valuable aid for group understanding of business presentation data. The development of the tool was an essential part of the research that was undertaken and the resulting software forms a significant portion of this practise based research. The aim of the software development was to develop a readily accessible tool that could be utilised in a non-specialist business environment to better facilitate an honest shared meaning of numerical data between a presenter and their audience.

The development of the tool progressed through a number of iterations and the software that accompanies this work is an important component that needs to be viewed in conjunction with the text. The test of the final version was undertaken with undergraduate University students in an attempt to validate the efficacy of the data visualisation technique. The test of the Dvenn software was made against the mature yardstick of scatter-plots. Interestingly, the correlations presented by scatter-plot were not as readily identified as would have been assumed, however, the results for the Dvenn tests were not supportive of the technique for widespread adoption. Nevertheless, further research into the best method of harnessing visual numeracy would seem to be justified.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Economics, Finance and Marketing
Keyword(s) Business presentations -- Graphic methods
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