The Benefits of Data Visualization

Data visualization is a way that allows us to present an abundance of information to a reader in a way that does not slow down the pace at which we are informing our audience, as well as organizing the information that we are presenting in a way that is easier for the reader to grasp onto quickly. Len De Groot explains how you can quickly and easily process your data and information and transform it into a simple information graphic that can streamline the information processing that the reader will experience. By doing this you make it easier for the reader to stay interested and read all the way through your piece rather than bogging them down with loads of information that causes them to lose interest and stop reading your article. Not only is this a very quick process, De Groot also explains how this can often be done for free by using the many tools that are provided by Google. All that is required is that the user creates an account with Google and all of the tools will become available to them. The first step to the data visualization process is the creation of a database. A database is essentially information that is organized into columns and rows, such as you would find in a spreadsheet. You can easily create your own database for the information that you are trying to present by using a google spreadsheet. The first step is to put all of your information into your database.

Paul Grabowicz describes how some websites provide downloadable spreadsheets that you can import into your google spreadsheet to streamline the data entering process. After you have entered all of the information that you need to enter for your infographic (a shorter term for data visualization) all that you have to do is click on the “insert” tab, then select the “gadget” option and then simply select which type of graphic you would like to use to present your information. You will first be asked to title your graphic. You must then select which cells you would like the graphic to represent. (If you are making a graph for your data visualization you will also need to label both the X and Y-axis’) In order to embed the graphic into a post or website, you have to select the drop down arrow in the top right corner of the chart and select “publish gadget”. This will then open a separate window with the embed code that you can use to add the graphic to your post and/or website. If you are making a graph for your data visualization you will also need to label both the X and Y-axis’. Grabowicz has provided a link to a sample data set that is accompanied by a downloadable excel spreadsheet with a sample database that you can use to practice making graphics. To access that downloadable spreadsheet, click here.

How can data visualization be used to help readers understand complicated data sets?

How can we use information graphics in our walking tour to help keep our audience as interested as possible?

Which types of information can we provide that will reach out to the largest amount of people to achieve interest in our walking tour?