Why Is Data Visualization So Hot?

Why Is Data Visualization So Hot?

Noah Iliinsky is the co-author of Designing Data Visualizations and technical editor of, and a contributor to, Beautiful Visualization, published By O’Reilly Media. He will lead a Designing Data Visualizations Workshop at O’Reilly’s Strata conference on Tuesday, Feb. 28.


Data visualization is hot.

All of a sudden there are dozens of companies and products that want to help you visually analyze your data, build your own visualizations, and visually display interesting data sets of all kinds. So, why is visualization interesting? Why is it desirable? And most importantly, why is it useful?

To answer these questions, we need to go all the way back to biology. The answer is, fundamentally, our visual system is extremely well built for visual analysis. There’s a huge amount of data coming into your brain through your eyes; the optic nerve is a very big pipe, and it sends data to... keep reading

Movie Character Height Chart

Source: The World Reduced to Infographics, by Patrick Casey and Dr. Worm Miller; Ulysses Press (December 13, 2011).

How to Turn a Static Visualization Into a Successful Animation

Liz Burow teaches information design and collaborative design studios at Parsons School of Design in New York, NY. Short animations are one of the best tools out there for explaining ideas, but they aren’t used often enough for fear they’re too advanced. Yet, creating animations can really help designers understand the power of storytelling,... keep reading