Does Visualization Matter? The Role of Interactive Data Visualization to Make Sense of Information
AbstractAs part of business analytics (BA) technologies, reporting and visualization play essential roles in mitigating users’ limitations (i.e., being inexperienced, having limited knowledge, and relying on simplified information). Reporting and visualization can potentially enhance users’ sense-making, thus permitting them to focus more on the information’s message rather than numerical analysis. To better understand the role of reporting and visualization in a contextualized environment, we investigate using interactive data visualization (IDV) within accounting. We aim to understand whether IDV can help enhance non-professional investors’ ability to make sense of foundational financial statement analyses. This study conducted an experiment using a sample of 324 nonprofessional investors. Our findings indicate that nonprofessional investors who use IDV are more heuristically adept than non-professional investors who use non-IDV. These findings enrich the theoretical understanding of business analytics’ use in accounting decision making. The results of this study also suggest several practical courses of action, such as promoting wider use of IDV and making affordable IDV more broadly available, particularly for non-professional investors.
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