Beth Schultz

5 Tips for Working With Data Visualization

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Noreen Seebacher
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Interesting comments
Noreen Seebacher   5/11/2013 1:43:23 AM
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Very keen insights from someone with day to day experience with visualizations. Does anyone have experiences to support his suggestions?

WaqasAltaf
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Understanding the audience
WaqasAltaf   5/12/2013 12:07:18 AM
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As said in the blog, it is important to understand that whether the audience is that which needs to understand the nitty gritties of the topic concerned or needs final numbers and facts so that they are able to take a decision. If the audience is the former type, then analytics in the form of visuals can help else a text-based summary might suffice. In a board of directors meeting for e.g. you dont want to hear from a director "we are not interested in the details, all we need to know is that  the project is to feasible or not so just give us a brief idea" hence making analytics in the form visuals completely unnecessary.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: Understanding the audience
Noreen Seebacher   5/12/2013 8:00:14 AM
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But Wagas even in your latter example, wouldn't visuals support and enhance the details provided?

kq4ym
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Re: Understanding the audience
kq4ym   5/12/2013 8:34:54 AM
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I would certainly agree to be aware that not all audiences want the visuals. I've seen way too many presentations that could have more easily be presented in text. After all, a visual is a summary in a lot of cases, and what is better to summarize than language.

tomsg
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Worry
tomsg   5/13/2013 8:19:26 AM
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For some reason when I just see a visualization, I worry about assumptions and filters that may have helped make a point rather than just present the facts. I don't mind a visualization, but I always want the underlying data and a list of assumptions.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: Worry
Noreen Seebacher   5/13/2013 10:27:07 AM
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tomsg, are there any visualizations that you found especially accurate or especially troublesome?

Jeff
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What I like about this post
Jeff   5/13/2013 10:45:51 AM
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I like that he says don't do anything fancy for the big meeting.  But I would say have the fancy stuff not only ready to show...but memorized.

I also like the idea of letting someone proof read your presentation...like and editor or an informal code review.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: What I like about this post
Noreen Seebacher   5/13/2013 10:56:49 PM
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Good way of protecting yourself Jeff

BethSchultz
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Re: Understanding the audience
BethSchultz   5/14/2013 10:03:36 AM
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@kq4ym -- I think, too, it depends on the purpose, as Cavaretta said. If you want your audience to take away the information and really think about it later, text might be better remembered. Although he does say his team will use good infographics, too -- the type using lots of facts and text as well, a la the New York Times (though he says his team is not nearly as good as the NYT designers!). So static visualizations with text definitely have a place.

 

BethSchultz
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Re: Worry
BethSchultz   5/14/2013 10:06:55 AM
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@tomsg, you make a good point about wanting to know the assumptions. I don't know too much about other data visualization tools, but I do know that SAS Visual Analytics provides pop-ups that explain what the visualization means, assumptions, algorithms used, etc.

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