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What’s the big deal about data visualization anyway?


Data visualization is, simply put, the art of presenting your data visually. It’s not just graphs and charts. Done well, data visualization is so much more than that.

We’re all familiar with the ubiquitous line charts and bar graphs you can find in Microsoft Excel. They’re useful tools, and much easier to understand than rows and columns of words and numbers. We are visually-oriented creatures and we like things we can absorb instantly. We really, really dislike holding multiple numbers in our heads and trying to make sense of it all.

With well-designed data visualization, it becomes easy to see relationships and patterns in the data and understand how they work. Not only does the data we’re looking at become visual in nature, it becomes intuitive.

David McCandles has a wonderful TEDx talk on data visualization that is well worth watching. In it, he demonstrates some of the ways data visualization can be a beautiful thing.

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