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Data Visualization Guide

This guide is intended to provide a starting point for learning about data visualization.


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Erin Owens
NGL 223D
ORCID: 0000-0001-9520-9314

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What is Data Visualization?

Data visualization is the representation of information in a graphical form, such as a chart, diagram, infographic, picture, or video, which can make patterns or insights easier to discover.

Humans quickly comprehend visual information. Effective data visualization can lead to faster, more effective decision-making.

Two identical line graphs, with the axes Progress and Time, and a diagonal line labeled Goal. The first, labeled the Optimist Graph, highlights in green the space below the line with the text, Look how far we've come! The second, labeled the Pessimist Graph,highlights in red the space above the line with the text, Look at how much we still have to do!

"Charts are always about perspective. With some annotation and a little bit of color you can make them say all sorts of things."

Image and quote from freshspectrum; image is licensed CC-BY-NC.


Famous 1869 Information Graphic by Charles Joseph Minard

By Charles Minard, 1869, Public Domain


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