ASQ - Statistics Division

Making Data Patterns Visible

Abstract: Objectives of a well composed table are the same as that of a well-written manuscript to organize and present the key findings to a reader in a simple and illustrative manner. This Mini Paper shows how to make patterns and key information visible in tables by following six simple principles: Order, Round, provide Averages, Columnize, Layout, and Explain (ORACLE). These rules enable authors to avoid the curse of knowledge, and allow the readers to see the trends and patterns in the data easily, instead of trying to figure out the tabular arrangement. The authors illustrate their approach with a financial budgeting, a paint pigment dispersion experiment, and a weld repaired cast fatigue experiment example. ORACLE principles complement but don't substitute proven statistical analysis methods such as normal plots, cube plots, interaction plots, residual plots, and analysis of variance.

Keywords: Data Patterns - Ordering - Rounding - ORACLE - Normal plots - ANOVA

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