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Beautiful Data by Toby Segaran, Jeff Hammerbacher

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The Point

Data visualization is often all about analytics and technical results, but it does not have to be—especially with personal data collection. People who collect data about themselves are not necessarily after the actual data. They are mostly interested in the resulting information and how they can use their own data to improve themselves. For that to come through, people have to see more than just data in the visualization. They have to see themselves. Life is complex, data represents life, and users want to understand that complexity somehow. That does not mean we should dumb down the data or the information. Instead, we use the data visualization to teach and to draw interest. Once there is that interest, we can provide users with a way to dig deeper and explore their data, or more accurately, explore and understand their lives in that data. It is up to the statistician, computer scientist, and designer to tell the stories properly.

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