Today Gauthier Vasseur and I talked about Data Visualization and his experience at the AFP (Association for Finance Professionals) Conference in Las Vegas. Gauthier was invited to give a seminar on data, data management and advanced visualization.
We talked about how the participants were interested in how data visualization could be inserted into their daily decision making processes.
We determined that visualization is the liaison between your analytics and the decisions that companies make based on those analytics. The idea is that if you can not transfer what you analyze into a meaningful message than you have failed. The audience to whom that message is being delivered is also important…meaning that there are no hard and fast rules about which visualization tools are appropriate. Data visualizations make it really easy to trends, outliers and correlations.
We delved into some very specific visualization / chart types which were quite interesting. Gauthier focused on three of them…but there are so many more. He started with the Bubble Chart. The second was the Sankey Diagram…these are quite interesting as well. The third is example is something that Gauthier refers to as ‘quite funky’…the port diagram. This is pretty cool as well. I asked Gauthier if the port diagrams would be effective in 3D. He was quick to reiterate that simplicity and ease of understanding are important and that adding another dimension may not add to this.
…Somehow, we always seem to get back to the point that tools are awesome, but without great data preparation, none of the tools or their output matters. Also, the meat of the visualization process is not really at the tool level.