LECTURE POD 8- THE BEAUTY OF DATA VISUALISATION

Summary:

The video is a TED talk located in Oxford England, where David McCandles discusses the “beauty of data visualisation.” We are constantly overloaded with information and data. The beauty of data visualisation is that it allows us to discover important connections and patterns.

McCandles provides precedents to the audience, including a “Billion Dollar O-gram” and the fluctuation of fear in the media. He points out in the second precedent that he was able to observe trends through data visualisation that he would have overlooked with only information. For example, the fear of violent video games peaks two times a year- November and April. November, because of Christmas and April, for the reason that a shooting happened in the 90s and has not been forgotten by the media. Therefore, influencing the increasing tension within individuals.

McCandles describes data as the “new soil. It is a fertile, creative medium.” He discusses other data visualisations and explains them in detail, demonstrating how aspects of the visualisation has allowed him to easily recognise influencing factors of the data. He continues to advocate that “The eye is exquisitely sensitive to colour, shape and pattern. It loves them, it is the language of the eye. And if you combine the language of the eye with the language of the mind, which is about words, numbers and concepts, you start speaking two languages simultaneously, each enhancing the other.”

Relative figures that are connected to data are important so it allows us to see a fuller picture and thus, leading to us changing our perspectives and attitudes. This can then lead to changes in behaviour of individuals and thus, potentially lead to powerful and positive change.

McCandles shows that data visualisation doesn’t necessarily have to represent numbers and data but also, word views, ideas and philosophies.

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David McCandles at TED talk 

Reflection:

McCandles is an engaging speaker with a witty sense of humour. He speaks passionately and breaks down the processes of how we interpret data visualisation through our senses.

After watching the past seven lectures, I acknowledge that data visualisation is an effective medium to represent facts and statistics. However, I didn’t realise that it can also illustrate world views, ideas and philosophies. McCandles shows us a precedent that reveals an unbiased image of the left and right wing views in America and how he resonates with opinions on opposing sides. Many people tend to resonate with only one viewpoint, when it seems that the reality is that everyone has philosophies that differ uniquely to one another. While this sort of data may be uncomforting and confronting, it allows us to understand ourselves, change our opinions and grow as individuals.

I agree that we are constantly bombarded with significant amounts of information each day and it is difficult to determine what is reliable. Studying the theory behind data visualisation has allowed me to become more sceptical of the information I absorb and has allowed me to gain an increased appreciation for it. I believe elucidated data visualisation should be inculcated in the media so we can develop well informed opinions and interpretations.

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Billion Dollar O-Gram 

References in APA

David McCandles at TED talk [Image] (2015). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=mccandless+data+visualization&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU733AU733&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiHvN-NvYnXAhXJpJQKHcu3A4QQ_AUICigB&biw=1396&bih=646#imgrc=CQf5fBr6NCPfoM:

Billion Dollar O-Gram [Image] (2010). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from https://www.google.com.au/search?q=mccandless+data+visualization&rlz=1C1CHBF_en-GBAU733AU733&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiHvN-NvYnXAhXJpJQKHcu3A4QQ_AUICigB&biw=1396&bih=646#imgdii=3myCPG17MbwBlM:&imgrc=DUTn6aNKy3CDlM:

 

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