Data visualization serves a grunt cognition role: patterns and connections are revealed in an image that might take hours (or days) to discover otherwise. For example – a tag cloud is a quick snapshot of popularity of certain topics in a paper (when posted in a site like Many Eyes) or on a website. Or look at this image of the learning management system marketplace, providing information about the development of the LMS field, acquisitions, and market share. The ability to visualize data to explore patterns is a basic literacy…and will continue to grow in importance as information quantity increases. FlowingData has posted a summary of how to get started with visualization:
Are you looking to get into data visualization, but don’t quite know where to begin?
With all of the available tools to help you visualize data, it can be confusing where to start. The good news is, well, that there are a lot of (free) available tools out there to help you get started. It’s just a matter of deciding which one suits you best. This is a guide to help you figure that out.