Data analysts are those magical people who can read numbers in a way other people can’t. Or at least that’s how I see them as someone who used to work in a place where we heavily depended on data. As an editor, the data analyst would direct me to where I should focus more, and where the website is supposed to be headed and why.
But ask a data analyst how they do it and you probably won’t get a bunch of unrelated numbers, you would get a chart. If they’re creative enough, you can get some visual that explains what’s happening and what needs to happen without them ever saying a word.
Data visualization allows everyone to make sense of something, and to put several levels of data in a form that makes it interpretable. It’s as important as knowing the numbers, if I list every metric you need yo know and left, you would know the numbers, you’d have the data, but you wouldn’t know what to do with it. Visualizing it is more practical and more fun.
Below are some of my favorite data visualizing techniques I’ve seen so far:
1- The Life of a Typical American: By Tim Urban
If a person lives up to 90 years old, this is what their life will most likely look like in weeks, based on the average timing of major life events in the life of an ordinary American.
Seeing this info organized like that makes it more understandable, it establishes a main ground for other structures to be built.
2- The Middle East (good luck getting that one!)
And yet there are graphs that puts it into perspective how complicated something is, this one represents some kind of results obviously, but it is striving for a bigger point rather than inviting you to grab a pencil and follow the lines. (You can if you really want to)
3- Music Visualized
This is what music looks like. The lines moving from the center away represents the musical channel as it moves with time, different angles of the lines represent different frequencies. “The purpose was to create even more an aesthetically responding visualization with the music as an artist.” as the creator puts it.
Imagine if I used this post to list all the data you learned about here in bullet point. wouldn’t be as attention-grabbing, would it?