The Need For Data Visualisation


Over the last two years, most of our stored data was created, around 90% of data existent on earth was created during this period to be exact. As a day passes over 2.5 Billion GB of data is created. This data is exchanged across a vast number of devices that generate and share data. This overwhelming data doesn't seem very personal to all of us. On daily basis we are bombarded with new stories, figures, and statistics from all across the world. Our mind become numb to this avalanche of data pouring in on daily basis. Not only that but because of the lack of a contextualised framework we fail to see patterns or correlations to this data. This lack of ability to decipher data properly doesn't provide us with the right resources to make informed decisions. Data visualisation offers a brilliant, visually engaging solution to this problem. It provides three important aspects to the table; context, sequence, and relation.

Data is a highly valuable resource, yet contextualising this data is an integral part of its presence. First off; it is important to understand what is context. Context is the relation of the data presented and linking it to the larger picture. This larger picture as shown in the picture above might be the entirety of a national budget. It would be very difficult to assess the success of the budget solely on its contribution to a single sector; nonetheless, contextualising it within the bigger framework of all the expenditures would make a more informed opinion. If a newspaper headline highlights a 50 billion$ budget increase in medicare that would call for a celebration; however, if it is accompanied by a a trillion$ investment in military expenditures then it would be a different story.

Another aspect is relation. In the infograph above, Hanah Anderson, Matt Daniels discuss the relation between Disney film in terms of male to female lines. This provides a context of not only movies but also sequence, given that the movies were made over a long period of time.

Sometimes info-graphics provide a largely aesthetic or awe-inspiring realisation. In this infograph by density design lab, they highlight beautifully the different existent languages and their place of Origin. This amazing illustration doesn't only showcase the overwhelming amount of languages but can also eliminate the Geo-political differences existent through border-thinking but highlighting the holistic fluid nature of the language we share today. Data is the new soil as brilliantly said by David McCandless in his Ted talk. It provides us with a range of information in a busy landscape to make informed decisions and formulate educated opinions through contextual and sequential information.

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