A 12-minute film on data visualization and art becoming one.
One issue with “data visualization and art becoming one” is that they truly serve very different purposes:
- The main purpose of art is, probably, to create emotions and to inspire.
- The goal of data visualization should be to help make practical observations, useful conclusions, and to create actionable insights.
Therefore, while data visualization can be artistic, this should be the lowest priority for it.
I have to admit that many of today’s data visualization solutions are more useful for art galleries than for answering practical questions.
This is, for example, how LinkedIn was visualizing my network in the past (this function is not available now):
How am I supposed to use it? I don’t know. But it looks really nice. To make this visualization useful, it should be highly interactive, configurable, and also have a capability to generate much simpler data sub-visualizations we can understand and use: tables, histograms, pie-charts, scatter-plots, etc. In other words, a successful big data visualization should be an app or a software program capable of providing answers ranging from complex to simple, and backing them up with some visual evidences. It should also be able to generate reports. If so, this would represent a true breakthrough in complex data analytics.