Designing visualizations to identify and assess correlations and trends:

Publikation, 2019


L. Perkhofer, C. Walchshofer, P. Hofer - Designing visualizations to identify and assess correlations and trends: - Proceedings of the 17th Finance, Risk and Accounting Perspectives Conference (FRAP), Helsinki, Finnland, 2019, pp. 294-340


Alongside the increase in available data, long histories, and the need to look at unconventional investment strategies (high risk and low risk by focusing on parallel or opposing stock price developments), multiple visualization options have emerged. This is caused by the ability of visualizations to provide insights such as an accurate and efficient assessment of possible correlations and trends. This study focuses on an optimal way to visualize correlations between two officially listed price developments (stock prices, indices, and commodity goods). In this regard, the choice and the design of the visualization used can influence decision accuracy substantially, however, explicit effects on visualization use and design choices are mostly lacking. To fill this gap, this study tests two highly recommended visualization types (a scatterplot and a parallel coordinates plot) and three concrete design features (regression line – yes vs. no; color – mono vs. multi; interaction – filter vs. select). Although the results indicate that scatterplots outperform parallel coordinates plots in all design conditions, parallel coordinates plots are less affected by deviations from a normal distribution (measured by kurtosis and skewness) and with increasing experience they might be equally effective.