This paper considers a range of time-related issues in the comparative empirical study of the American States and demonstrates how visualizations animated to show change over time can provide information that summary statistics do not. Issues discussed include proactive and reactive policies, proper measurement of money over time, and proper linking of variables over time. Relationships with nearly identical annual correlations can exhibit strikingly different scatterplot animations. Visualization tools can help us recognize and better understand temporal phenomena.
Points for practitioners
Just as visualizations are helpful in data analysis, visualizations animated to show change over time are helpful in analysis of cross-sectional time-series data Animated scatterplots show change over time for individual units of analysis and the sample or population as a whole Animated visualizations can add richness and texture to understanding of empirical phenomena; they can stimulate insights, develop hypotheses and test hypotheses Animated visualizations can highlight temporal components