Data Visualization

Definition

Data visualization is the visual or graphic representation of data. Data visualizations can be charts/graphs, images, interactive dashboards, or other visual imagery. Data visualizations are used for exploring and further understanding a dataset prior to analysis and as an efficient way of communicating findings, for example, when visually communicating a time series or geographical differences. The most common data visualizations are column charts, line charts, pie charts, summary tables, scatterplots, and maps. Visualizations can be provided as one chart or numerous graphics together as an infographic or dashboard.

Examples

John Snow's cholera map in 3D: https://ralucanicola.github.io/cholera-map-3D/

Florence Nightingale’s Famous Rose Chart: https://datavizcatalogue.com/methods/nightingale_rose_chart.html 

This interactive bubble chart compares the level of scientific evidence behind different alternative medicine supplements and their popularity. https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/snake-oil-scientific-evidence-for-nutritional-supplements-vizsweet/  

Tools

Decision tree for selecting a visualization: https://www.data-to-viz.com/#explore

Further Resources

This book chapter describes the common types of data visualizations and best practices for effective data visualization communication: https://uta.pressbooks.pub/datanotebook/chapter/2-6-tell/ 

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