Week 8: Data Visualisation

by wangtianchen

Data online can be challenging and difficult to trying to find related content. But do you know data visualizations can make all of that much easier and more interesting and often more useful manner? 

Data visualization is a general term that describes any effort to help people understand the significance of data by placing it in a visual context. Patterns, trends and correlations that might go undetected in text-based data can be exposed and recognized easier with data visualization software. [1]

Today’s data visualization tools go beyond the standard charts and graphs used in Excel spreadsheets, displaying data in more sophisticated ways such as infographics, dials and gauges, geographic maps, sparklines, heat maps, and detailed bar, pie and fever charts. [1]

Data Visualisation, it is a wonderful tool and an extremely efficient way of communicating a message. But Date Visualisation also have some issues during the developing. 

Today I am going to show you  TWO information of effective and ineffective data visualisations from websites. The first example I chose an effective example of information visualisation and I am going to describe THREE qualities that I think make I example good piece information visualisation. Effective Data Visualisation likes good writing, good graphical displays of data communicate ideas with clarity, precision, and efficiency.

Take example of What Romney and Obama’s Body Language Says to Voters by Data Visualization website, here is the example’s link: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/02/us/politics/what-romney-and-obamas-body-language-says-to-voters.html?hp [2]

  • AS SIMPLY AS POSSIBLE: As you can see this great data visualization example begins with measurements that are readily available, Obama and Romney.
  • UNDERSTANDING:  The data come from a reliable source and are easy to understand. Such as use guide combine with video and use blue color to take out the gesture in the video.


  • PRECISION: This Data Visualisation made by Peggy Hackney, an analyst working with the New York University Movement Lab, has examined the body language exhibited by President Obama and Mitt Romney in a number of speeches and debates.

The second example that I think is ineffective of information visualisation and I am going to show you THREE issues that make I second example difficult to understand. Ineffective Data Visualisation likes poor writing, bad graphical displays distort or obscure the data, make it harder to understand or compare, or otherwise thwart the communicative effect which the graph should convey.

Taking another example of Breakout detection in R by flowing data website. here is the example’s link: http://flowingdata.com/2014/10/29/breakout-detection-in-r/ [3]



I can not understand what this data visualisation is. So can not analyse more about this one, I think this is ineffective date visualisation.


[1] Rouse, M. (n,d). Data Visualisation. Retrieved November 15, 2014 from http://searchbusinessanalytics.techtarget.com/definition/data-visualization

[2] Politic. (2012). What Romney and Obama’s Body Language Says to Voters. Retrieved November 15, 2014 from http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/10/02/us/politics/what-romney-and-obamas-body-language-says-to-voters.html?hp

[3] Flowing Data. (2014). Breakout detection in R. Retrieved November 15, 2014 from http://flowingdata.com/2014/10/29/breakout-detection-in-r/