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A Methodic Approach to Good Data Visualization

A Methodic Approach to Good Data Visualization

This week we are going to take on one of the most talked about subjects of late, data visualization.

What underpins the most common visualizations? What makes some of them easier to understand? Is there a repeatable strategy to create clear and effective visualizations every time?

We will walk through the Split-Apply-Combine approach to data analysis. After this introduction, we will dive into an easy to digest introduction to some of the concepts from the Grammar of Graphics, then we will explore methods and techniques to create effective visualizations reliably.

Speakers

Vadim Ogievetsky

Vadim is the Lead Front End developer at Metamarkets.

Prior to Metamarkets he received a BA degree in mathematics and computer science from Oxford University and a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University.

While at Stanford he worked with the data visualization group where he contributed to Protovis first, then to D3.js with Mike Bostock and Jeff Heer.

Luca Candela

Luca is the Director of Product Management at DataPad.

Prior to DataPad he worked as Interaction Designer and Product Manager for companies like HumanConcepts, Sencha and Metamarkets.

Luca has a master's degree in Computer Science, focused on human-computer interaction from Universita' di Torino, Italy and master's degree from Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain.

Luca is also the organizer for the UX Eye and is a little weirded out to write about himself in third person.

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  • Karl M.

    From VIS2013 Paper: What Makes a Visualization Memorable?

    Outside of the academic community there is a thriving interest in visualization collections for the general public. For example, the Peri- odic Table for Management [26] present a classification of visualiza- tions with a multitude of illustrated diagrams for business. The online community Visualizing.org introduces an eight-category taxonomy to organize the projects hosted on their site [25]. InfoDesignPatterns.com classifies visualization design patterns based upon visual representa- tion and user interaction [5]. Our taxonomy is more comprehensive and identifies a dozen main graph types with many subtypes that span the variety of visualizations we found online. We were inspired by the reference guide by Harris [15], who provides a comprehensive refer- ence for graphic representations, but no taxonomical classification.

    1 · November 22, 2013

  • Ken P.

    One of the most fun and thoughtful meetups I've been to. Split combine apply techniques were explained, then we had 45 minutes to apply them to a dataset. Very enjoyable and fruitful.

    November 12, 2013

    • Luca

      Thanks! Did my best, there's always space for improvement. Would be great to know if there's a specific subject you would like to see at the next event.

      November 12, 2013

    • Ken P.

      I would like to see design thinking related to performance

      November 16, 2013

  • Karl M.

    For basics of business visualization you can check out Stephen Few's - "Show Me the Numbers", "Now You See It", and "Information Dashboard Design". He talks a lot about how and why to format data for various situations. He's against pie charts and flashy visualizations - thinks they take to much cognitive effort - very business-focused instead of socially engaging.

    November 13, 2013

  • Eric B.

    I enjoyed the talk(s), though I the exercise felt more like a struggle with tools than an application of the process we'd just heard about. The workshop portion also caught me off guard; I would have come better prepared had I expected it. Nonetheless, nice to actually *do* a thing rather than just listen.

    November 13, 2013

  • Dean K

    This was a great meetup event! Well planned and well executed!

    November 13, 2013

  • Rafael L.

    The article below goes along with the discussions on data viz going on right now (taken from one of my fav viz blogs, chatporn.org)

    The science behind data visualisation

    http://www.mapcite.com/posts/2013/august/the-science-behind-data-visualisation.aspx

    November 12, 2013

    • Rafael L.

      chartporn.org, sorry.

      November 12, 2013

  • Karl M.

    A bit more basic then I thought, but good for what it was.

    November 12, 2013

    • Luca

      Yeah, was supposed to be an introductory crash course, sorry if I made you think it was going to be more than that.

      November 12, 2013

  • Rafael L.

    Another guru whose books are worthwhile reading is Edward Tufte. After one of his workshops and skimming through his books, I learned quite a bit about the psychology of n-dim data viz, color, space, etc...

    November 12, 2013

    • Luca

      I didn't mention Tufte on purpose, he's great when talking about style but not foundational work. Very hard to learn much from his material, Bertin and Cleveland are more actionable (and Tufte takes plenty from them anyways...). I feel you should approach Tufte only after reading the other two. That's my opinion anyways.

      November 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well, this should be cool! Can't wait to see it happening... ;)

    November 4, 2013

  • Luca

    If you have questions about the subject, please send them ahead of time so I can make sure Vadim and I touch on at least some of those.

    November 3, 2013

  • Piotrek C.

    Any chance of having this meetup streamed online or recorded for later viewing? I won't be able to make it in person but would love to hear the speakers. I could still pay the fee, of course.

    October 24, 2013

    • Luca

      Nah, the fee is just to make sure people that don't plan on showing up don't squat the list, it used to happen in the past. I'm not setup to broadcast the event, I'm really sorry about that.

      October 24, 2013

  • Luca

    Please help me spread the word about this event. It's not every day that you get to learn data visualization from the author of D3.js!

    October 22, 2013

  • Yelena

    Looking forward to the event. I see discussions among people who consume visualizations much more often than discussions among those who actually create them. :)

    October 22, 2013

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