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Getting started with visualization

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.


  1. Adeel Khamisa wrote:

    Thanks for posting this brief on what data visualization is. If you want a good example of a data visualization that’s not a simple info graphic check out this example:

    It’s a really good geo-temporal visualization of the patterns people make when they move over time. you can use these patterns to predict behaviours.

    Check it out

    Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 8:31 am | Permalink
  2. Dan Murray wrote:

    I’ve been using Tableau Software for data visualization for over two years. It’s a fantastic tool. See my blog for 10 great data visualization websites.

    Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm | Permalink
  3. Dan Murray wrote:


    I watched the vid. Impressive tool!

    Thursday, September 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Permalink