Visualization in Operations Management Research

INFORMS Journal on Data Science

30 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2020 Last revised: 30 Aug 2021

See all articles by Rahul C. Basole

Rahul C. Basole

Accenture AI; Georgia Institute of Technology

Elliot Bendoly

The Ohio State University

Aravind Chandrasekaran

The Ohio State University; Operations

Kevin Wayne Linderman

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Operations and Management Science

Date Written: August 30, 2021

Abstract

The unprecedented availability of data, along with the growing variety of software packages to visualize it, presents both opportunities and challenges for operations management (OM) research. OM researchers typically use data to describe conditions, predict phenomena, or make prescriptions depending on whether they are building, testing, or translating theories to practice. Visualization, when used appropriately, can complement, aid, and augment the researcher’s understanding in the different stages of research (theory building, testing or translating and conveying results). On the other hand, if used incorrectly or without sufficient consideration, visualization can yield misleading and erroneous claims. This article formally examines the benefits of visualization as a complementary method enhancing each stage of a broader OM research strategy by examining frameworks and cases from extant research in different OM contexts. Our discussion offers guidance with regard to researchers’ use of visual data renderings, particularly towards avoiding misrepresentation which can arise with the incorrect use of visualization. We close with a consideration of emerging trends and their implications for researchers and practitioners, as well as recommendations for both authors and reviewers, regardless of domain, in evaluating the effectiveness of visuals at each stage of research.

Keywords: Data Visualization, Operations Management, Methods

JEL Classification: M11, C

Suggested Citation

Basole, Rahul and Basole, Rahul and Bendoly, Elliot and Chandrasekaran, Aravind and Linderman, Kevin Wayne, Visualization in Operations Management Research (August 30, 2021). INFORMS Journal on Data Science, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3637040 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3637040

Rahul Basole

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Accenture AI ( email )

United States

Elliot Bendoly (Contact Author)

The Ohio State University ( email )

Fisher College of Business
2100 Neil Ave
Columbus, OH 43212
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.bizbreed.com

Aravind Chandrasekaran

The Ohio State University ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

Operations ( email )

2100 Neil Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210-1144
United States

Kevin Wayne Linderman

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Operations and Management Science ( email )

Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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