2. The Five Qualities of Great Visualizations

The greatest value of a picture is when it forces us to notice what we never expected to see.

—John W. Tukey, Exploratory Data Analysis

In April 2013, Enrico Bertini, a professor of visualization at the NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, posed a challenge to his community. In a blog post titled “Where are the data visualization success stories?” he wrote:

I see a lot of visualization around me now, and I am extremely excited about it. Yet, are we making any real difference? I mean, are we having any real impact on people’s lives other than telling them beautiful stories? Yes, I know, impact could be defined in a million different ways, and it may be hard to capture. But why do I never stumble ...

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