Do you care? The influence of topic relevance on the understanding of time series data presented as a stock and flow.

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The way data is presented influences the understanding of this data. Time-series data could be presented as a stock (absolute values in a period of time) and as a flow (difference in absolute values over a period of time). By conducting an online experiment in the form of a questionnaire, it has been found that time series data presented as stock graphs are understood better than time-series data in the form of flow graphs but this might be due to certain graphical features and the communicational goal that is to be fulfilled with the graph. Moreover, the present article investigated the role topic relevance could play on the understanding of stock and flow data. The results showed that the relevance of the topic is depended on several factors and that it does not significantly change the understanding. Thus, the type of data visualisation is found to influence the understanding of the graph whereas the relevance of a topic appears to have no significant effect. Finally, limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Faculteit der Letteren