Monday, April 30, 2012

Data Visualization

What is Data Visualization? How can it be explained through a visual diagram? Can data visualization be... visualized?

Data visualization is the study of the visual representation of data, meaning "information that has been abstracted in some schematic form, including attributes or variables for the units of information.  The "main goal of data visualization is to communicate information clearly and effectively through graphical means. It doesn't mean that data visualization needs to look boring to be functional or extremely sophisticated to look beautiful. To convey ideas effectively, both aesthetic form and functionality need to go hand in hand, providing insights into a rather sparse and complex data set by communicating its key-aspects in a more intuitive way. Yet designers often fail to achieve a balance between form and function, creating gorgeous data visualizations which fail to serve their main purpose — to communicate information.

Personally, I feel that Data Visualization is a way of story telling. Taking complex data and putting it into something visual or as John Maeda would say "simple". In essence, data visualization is a new pluri-disciplinary domain, where different expertise blends and overlap. It mixes different perspectives and that is what is supposed to be represented.


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