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Progressive refinement is a methodology that makes it possible to elegantly integrate scalable data compression, access, and presentation into one approach. Specifically, this paper concerns the effective use of progressive parallel coordinates (PPCs), utilized routinely for high-dimensional data visualization. It discusses how the power of the typical stages of progressive data visualization can also be utilized fully for PPCs. Further, different implementations of the underlying methods and potential application domains are described. The paper also presents empirical results concerning the benefits of PPC with regard to efficient data management and improved presentation, indicating that the proposed approach is able to close the gap between data handling and visualization.