Today it is commonplace to find business reports and academic textbooks employing complicated statistical and numerical data in interesting visual forms. You may not realise that this is quite a recent phenomenon. If you look at most textbooks of ten or fifteen years ago in your library, you will find that they contain mainly text. Few books are published nowadays without the authors using graphics to illustrate their ideas. This is particularly true when it comes to material requiring numerical analysis. Not only textbook writers are utilising such methods. Companies are very aware that effective presentation is a major means of marketing their image.
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