The Long and Winding Road: Style over substance?

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This week I take a departure from my normal posting. The reason is two fold, firstly the content of this weeks posting is best delivered by the videos below and secondly because the subject matter dictates that I do it this way!

I have been taken by the uptake in presentational techniques which rely solely on visual elements, recently we posted on our 3rd Planet vBlog about the pitfalls of poorly executed info-graphics.

The feature which has emerged as the biggest problem is the sheer volume of information which can be displayed by visual means, it seems a picture really does say a thousand words. One aspect of this, which is largely unaccounted for, is the level of understanding the reader has when viewing these swathes of pictorial data. As more and more data is shown we need to be careful to allow the reader to enjoy the information rather than feel bombarded by it… no easy task.

The video below takes you through some real life examples of the data rich visual presentational styles we are now becoming familiar with… it is very interesting to see how the creative mind meets the statistician and survives!

BBC News – Is data visualisation just style over substance? 

When we decide to present our data like this we must always try to educate rather than just display. It is the ‘why?’ and ‘how?’ questions we answer as we educate that will bring the visual data to life and give meaning to the information.

see you on the long and winding road…… Patrick

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