Data Visualization Advice to Stop You Drowning in the Numbers

LET’S START WITH THE BASICS

Data Visualization is a subsection of visual communications. It is also a relatively new field that combines knowledge from three paradigms that, on the face of it, do not seem related: analytics, design, and psychology. To understand how Data Visualization evolved as an independent realm of knowledge, I would like to begin with a little about visual communications.

THE EVOLUTION OF VISUAL COMMUNICATIONS

Visual communication is ‘a form of communication through a visual aid, and described as the conveyance of ideas and information in forms that can be read or looked upon. Visual communication, in part or whole, relies on vision’ and, its essence is using easy-to-understand forms of representation to share ideas, knowledge, and information.

People have been communicating using visual information since the birth of humanity. Take for instance prehistoric cave paintings. These paintings, as forms of communication, came long before words and language. Painting what they had in mind, or what they wanted to achieve, prehistoric people communicated and cooperated without using language.

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I remember how bored I was in elementary school when my teacher spoke about the oesophagus, the stomach, and the duodenum. I remember how my brain tailed away while trying to figure out the origin of the words…  But once the teacher pulled out an illustration of the human digestive system, I was intrigued. The picture showed what each organ looked like; described the relationships between the organs; and how together they form an awesome, complete, mechanism. I was fascinated! Since I’ve always had a strong visual memory, I can still vividly remember the illustration from many years ago, but can’t recollect if I ever knew the origin of the word duodenum.

This article was published on Presentation Guru website.

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