Department of Statistics Unitmark
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences

A Picture Can Be Worth a Thousand Formulae - An Adventure in Model Fitting

Publication Date

October, 2002

Publication Type

Tech Report


Nicole A. Lazar


We often teach in data analysis courses that one should look at the data before beginning any serious modeling endeavor. Indeed, visualization and modeling should go hand in hand. Each can inform the other and each process is enriched by the use of the other. Judicious use of graphics can save the practitioner from trying to fit overly-complicated models, while at the same time opening a window on interpretation. The power of simple plots as a tool for learning about moderately complex data structures is demonstrated via example.