Data Visualization: A New Language for Storytelling

Data Visualization: A New Language for Storytelling

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Data visualizations are so ubiquitous that it's easy to forget just how remarkable they are. They've become a universal form of storytelling, a common global language that relies on our ability to discern patterns rapidly. This O'Reilly report examines different ways that data scientists and analysts use visualizations not only for presentation, but also as a key step in the early stages of data analysis.

Through interviews with analysts, academics, data scientists, and vendors, Mike Barlow reveals how exploratory visualization can help analysts see something they might have missed when the data was in tabular form. Exploratory visualizations can be obtuse and unrefined, while explanatory visualizations are fine-tuned to reveal specific insights.

And it's the fine-tuning that concerns critics: do many visualizations provide a simplified picture or take data out of context? How clean is the data before visualization? This report provides a fascinating look into today's abundant supply of visualized information.

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Mike Barlow

Mike Barlow is an award-winning journalist, author and communications strategy consultant. Since launching his own firm, Cumulus Partners, he has represented major organizations in numerous industries.

Mike is coauthor of The Executive's Guide to Enterprise Social Media Strategy (Wiley, 2011) and Partnering with the CIO: The Future of IT Sales Seen Through the Eyes of Key Decision Makers (Wiley, 2007).

He is also the writer of many articles, reports, and white papers on marketing strategy, marketing automation, customer intelligence, business performance management, collaborative social networking, cloud computing, and big data analytics.

Over the course of a long career, Mike was a reporter and editor at several respected suburban daily newspapers, including The Journal News and the Stamford Advocate. His feature stories and columns appeared regularly in The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, Newsday and other major U.S. dailies.