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The fundamentals of management information – L


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Large-screen monitors

Screens with high → resolution and formed by combining multiple standard monitors to create a single space, similar to those used for a public viewing of sports events. The goal is to bring more pixels within the space that the eye can view at a glance. A typical wall projection in a conference room has the resolution of an LCD projector. With the new full HD projectors, that means 1920 x 1080 pixels on wall area of 4 x 2 meters. A monitor wall comprised of 9 full HD monitors requires the same amount of space – but delivers nine times the resolution at the same level of readability. No matter which topic you are debating alone or in a team, you can now display many things next to each other instead of after each other. In many cases, this is necessary to create an overview and make comparisons – and, therefore, ensure productive work sessions. People have known that for a long time, but the necessary technology was previously too expensive to use them for managing business performance. Times have changed. DeltaMaster is classified as a pioneering product for using large-screen monitors for performance management and handles large formats with elegance.

Law of proportionality

An important rule for → charts. Differences in length and size should be proportional to the differences in values. Due to our innate → number sense, we humans take proportionality as a given and interpret charts accordingly. This is the reason why the → perspective priority for circle, area, column, and → bar charts is different than in → line charts.


A sorry type of label. Charts should always display the graphical element (bar, column, area, dot, or line), the graphically coded value, and its name close together. Otherwise, the decoding effort exceeds the desired benefits of a chart. In maps, you need to code many things simultaneously. Since streets, rivers, towns, churches, topography, and vegetation all compete for the same limited space, legends are almost unavoidable. When you are making charts, take a moment to consider your eyepath. If your eyes need to jump back and forth, up and down just to read a few numbers, a → graphic table is the better solution.

Linear scaling

A scale with the same distances to the X and Y axes. Linear scales can be tricky in combination with → line charts if they display series of different magnitudes at the same time. Common trap: Revenue and profit shown in columns. because the column format has to be linear, the reader cannot see the change in profit. This often gives the false impression that profit is stagnating despite an increase in revenue. A better option is therefore → lines → scaled logarithmically.

Line chart

Type of → chart for → time series. Line charts are widespread, but often tricky and misleading. This, in turn, is due to the longstanding myth that people cannot understand → logarithmic scales. Engineers simply shake their heads on that one. In many situations, → linear scales create the wrong picture – not a simpler one. The standard settings in DeltaMaster apply common sense to deal with the resulting problems in an appropriate way.

Logarithmic scale

Necessary for → line charts, → dot bars, and dot columns. A line chart consists of many different segments, each with a different slope. The human eye uses this slope to compare and interpret the development. The slope has what we call → perspective priority. A linear scale, however, uses the same slope to show revenue growth from 10 to 20 as well as 100 to 110. Should both changes look and be interpreted the same way? Some people say it depends. We say that’s nonsense! The same slope signalizes the same dynamics, which are expressed relatively. Logarithmic scales display the same relative changes on every level with the same slope. There it is. Through logarithmic and “comparable” scales, DeltaMaster ensures that you can see and compare the dynamic of developments in their true light.