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Graphics and managerial decision making: research-based guidelines

By S. L. Jarvenpaa, G. W. Dickson

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 31 No. 6, Pages 764-774

Graphical charts are generally thought to be a superior reporting technique compared to more traditional tabular representations in organizational decision making. The experimental literature, however, demonstrates only partial support for this hypothesis. To identify the characteristics of the situations that have been shown to benefit from the use of graphics, existing studies are reviewed in terms of the type of task used, the format employed, and the user experience. The examination of the literature reveals a set of empirically based—though preliminary—guidelines as to when and how to use business graphics.

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