See How It’s Done: 6 Lessons on Visualization

See how it’s done?

The first thing to do when starting any project is to get familiar with the tools you will use. For example, if you are going to create a website, then you need to learn HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). If you want to build a game engine or software product, then you need programming skills. Similarly, if your goal is to become a professional photographer or videographer, then you need photography/video skills.

For me, I started learning all these things because they were useful for my projects. However, I didn’t really understand why some of them were so useful and others weren’t until recently. Now that I have learned more about the reasons behind their usefulness, I am able to explain it better in this article. So let’s start from the beginning…

What is Visualization?

Visualization is a way of visualizing data without actually displaying it on screen. Instead, you visualize what is happening inside your head. You may think of visualization as being similar to a video game where you control the actions of characters.

In fact, there are many different types of visualization. There are line charts, bar graphs, pie charts and bubble charts among other kinds. But in general terms, all of them involve showing information using symbols instead of numbers or words.

A common misconception is that visualization is only used for business purposes such as planning and forecasting. But it is just as useful in other areas such as for forecasting events and trends in your personal life (e.g. if you keep getting out of bed at 6am then after a few weeks you will start to see a pattern on your sleep-wake cycle).

The best way to learn about visualization is obviously to start using it and these days it is easier than ever thanks to the internet where you can find loads of free data to visualize.

The Benefits of Visualization

One of the biggest benefits of visualizing data is that it can make large sets of information easier to understand. For example, you can use visualization techniques to find patterns in large amounts of data. The human eye is really good at seeing patterns and you can take advantage of this by visualizing your data.

For example, you can draw a line graph that shows monthly sales revenue over a period of years.

Sources & references used in this article:

Narrative visualization: Telling stories with data by E Segel, J Heer – IEEE transactions on visualization and …, 2010 – ieeexplore.ieee.org

Java Treeview—extensible visualization of microarray data by AJ Saldanha – Bioinformatics, 2004 – academic.oup.com

Designing pixel-oriented visualization techniques: Theory and applications by DA Keim – IEEE Transactions on visualization and computer …, 2000 – ieeexplore.ieee.org

Visualization: A metacognitive skill in science and science education by JK Gilbert – Visualization in science education, 2005 – Springer

Visualization in the calculus class: Relationship between cognitive style, gender, and use of technology by E Galindo-Morales – 1994 – etd.ohiolink.edu

Seeing and visualizing: It’s not what you think by ZW Pylyshyn – 2003 – books.google.com