This is a great PBS Off Book webisode that covers the visualization topic from the point of view appreciated by a data scientist – the data. Edward Tofte points out that “You want to see to learn something, not to confirm something.” At the same time, Jer Thorp says that “Data Visualization is about Revelation – seeing something you have never seen before.”

Revelation is truly seeing to learn, a key characteristic that differentiates data science from business intelligence. BI visualization (e.g., dashboards, pie charts, etc.) is all about seeing to confirm. Very operational, very tactical. In contrast, Data Science strives to learn through visualization, which is very strategic and hopefully transformative.

From scientific visualization to pop infographics, designers are increasingly tasked with incorporating data into the media experience. Data has emerged as such a critical part of modern life that it has entered into the realm of art, where data-driven visual experiences challenge viewers to find personal meaning from a sea of information, a task that is increasingly present in every aspect of our information-infused lives.

This short 8 min webisode features:
Edward Tufte, Yale University
Julie Steele, O’Reilly Media
Josh Smith, Hyperakt
Jer Thorp, Office for Creative Research


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