Contrary Opinion | Visual Analytics

Counterpoint: Train for Data Visualization Skills

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Balaji Prasad
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Re: The need for visualization
Balaji Prasad   5/28/2013 4:06:09 PM
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Big Endian, Little Endian, Big Endian, Little Endian ... This kind of conundrum pre-dates the rise of analytics as a a mainstream discipline. Even IT and the CIO have been going through this kind of role-division crisis vis-a-vis the business. "Bridges" do spring up and so do "fillers" that fill the gaps that could go away in later stages of evolution. There may be no one right model, at least, initially.

kicheko
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Re: The need for visualization
kicheko   3/20/2013 1:05:01 PM
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Jonathan, - Its very true that...making charts and summaries is usually relatively simple. But some of the stuff i have seen on visual.ly is quite complex...takes you aback on your own data. I think the biggest challenge now is asking the right questions.

Jonathan Schwabish
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Re: The need for visualization
Jonathan Schwabish   3/20/2013 9:52:23 AM
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It's also important to realize that "data visualization" is a broad term. Some firms or agencies may not need to make infographics like the ones you see on visual.ly or visualizing.org. Anyone--especially people who are good with data--can learn good data visualization techniques, such as, use bar/column charts instead of pie charts, avoid 3D graphics, etc. The complexities and skills needed to make an infographic or interactive visualization certainly differ from many analysts' core training, but making better visuals for data analytics or more standard presentations is something people can learn and learn relatively easily.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: The need for visualization
Noreen Seebacher   3/20/2013 7:04:00 AM
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I have to agree - it is a rare person who is good at everything

Hyoun Park
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The need for visualization
Hyoun Park   3/19/2013 6:22:25 PM
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"a large agency who expressed dismay at the fact that once they finished creating their output and sketching their visualizations, the "graphics team" would modify their work in ways it saw fit."

 

I'd argue that this is the right brain coming into place.  There has to be a balance.  Graphics teams are all right-brain.  But they were tapping into a lack of aesthetic and visual meaning that the left-brainers had ignored. 


This is why data visualization is so hard when it's aimed at the mainstream.  And why there is a need for a specialist.

Noreen Seebacher
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Re: Hmm
Noreen Seebacher   3/19/2013 5:59:37 PM
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Some people are just not creative. I think it is a mistake to presume anyone can do a visualization

kicheko
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Re: Hmm
kicheko   3/19/2013 4:53:13 PM
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Possibly data visualization is something most people are able to do and they don't know it. Not in the data science sense but in the sense that they can think of an idea and the easiest way to represent it to someone else is graphically. Picking out people with some math skill to combine with can help to develop strong data visualizaton creation professionals.

PS: I've heard before that while the rest of us say "its not rocket science" , rocket scientists say "its not chemical engineering" :-).

BethSchultz
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Training to visualize
BethSchultz   3/19/2013 4:14:28 PM
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Jon, interesting points. I'm curious regarding your own training efforts -- what sorts of people do you find most interested in learning how to become better at data visualization?

Noreen Seebacher
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Hmm
Noreen Seebacher   3/19/2013 10:00:35 AM
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I don't know. This sounds awful close to rocket science to me! "Presenting data effectively is not rocket science: It requires a strong sense of good visualization techniques and communicating through data, both of which can be learned. Not everyone can be a great graphic designer or an interactive programmer, but any analyst who is familiar with data can create great, effective visualizations."

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