Section 004, Instructor: Larry Dignan

Weekly Question #4: Complete by Oct. 2, 2017

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on Oct. 2, 2017. Remember, it only needs to be three or four sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so much particular “facts” from the class!

Here is the question:

Take a look at the Hoven article from this week (“Stephen Few on Data Visualization: 8 Core Principles”). Which one of the eight principles do you think is most important? Why?

31 Responses to Weekly Question #4: Complete by Oct. 2, 2017

  • I think that comparison is the most consistent benefit of data visualizations. It allows us to easily look over large sets of data and piece out which ones are most obviously outliers. It gives you a perspective over the whole dataset as well, to see how much it conforms or breaks off, and if things look as expected. And to stack up visualized, graphed data against other datasets is infinitely easier, and can be done in seconds as compared to pouring over numbers and units to see the exact distinctions. Since data mostly gains usefulness with context, hastening our ability to cross-reference is a very, very helpful aspect of data visualization.

  • In my opinion I believe the principle that is most important to me is “Be Skeptical.” Me being an individual that is not so easily persuaded by the first response I get or hear; I believe this principle is stands out to me. I was never gullible and always wanting to see or figure things out for myself, just to have my own perspective on things; or just to reconfirm what I was convinced to believe.

  • I believe that the “Ask why” principle is the most important. You HAVE to understand what you’re doing before you do it. When something goes wrong, knowing the ‘why’ will help you make adjustments and plan ahead. Knowing and just following certain procedures without knowing the why won’t help you understand the bigger picture.

  • I believe that the “ask why” principle is the most important. Asking yourself why you’re doing something helps you understand why you are doing what you’re doing. It will also help you when you’re stuck, so you aren’t going through steps without understanding why you are doing those steps.

  • “Ask why.” Why? Well, that is just it. By looking at data visualization, you can most certainly see what is happening, such as if something is a trend or fad. However, understanding why that trend or fad happened will lead to an understanding of what may happen next. This will give you an understanding of the bigger picture of your data and the ability to capitalize on it for current or future data.

  • The most important principle in my opinion would have to be the “ask why” principle. Anyone can show you numbers and text on a screen but you have to figure out why it’s important or why it’s there. What does it really mean? Or is it just a bunch of information on a screen? You need to know the why (the ultimate purpose.)

  • The most important of the 8 is to simplify data visualizations. Data visualizations that are more complex or overwhelming to its audience are less likely to be interpreted correctly and are less likely to interest the viewer. A data visualization needs to concisely portray information to its viewer in a manner that is easy to read and quick to understand. The more time a viewer has to take in order to understand the data, the less likely they are to be interested in it.

  • I think “explore” is the most important principle. This is because this is the step that we take to really pour through the data to find the answer we are looking for while also looking for correlations that may have been overlooked before.

  • I believe “Ask why” is the most important principle among those eight principles. When it comes to asking why, it means that you are interested or becoming interested in that topic. If someone is curious about something, they start to google or find dictionary in order to completely understand and get rid of the curiosity. During this sequences, you might go for a further research and be able to view diversely.

  • I think the most important principle of the eight principles is “Ask why.” It is important to ask why in order to turn the data is knowledge; therefore, being able to use the data in an actionable way making it beneficial. Turning data into actionable knowledge will only benefit an individual’s current or future studies and influence them to study more in depth. Anyway can spit out data, but it is how an individual uses knowledgable data that really counts.

  • I think the most important principles out of those listed by Hoven is Simplify. As young adults, we are constantly pressured to produce something overly complicated for it to look “cool” or “smart”. We bury ourselves in the idea that for a paper or graphic to be good, it needs to include long sentences and hard-to-understand pictures. At times like this, I feel that is key to remember that not all things have to appear difficult to be useful. We need to teach ourselves to think about the value of a product first, before thinking about the opinions of others.

  • Of the eight principals, I believe that “Be Skeptical” is the most important. This principal help differentiate the good from the great. If someone is skeptical about what the data is showing them, or how the data can be best visualized, they can then think about how the data can be portrayed in more effective ways. They can also think about relationships in the data that one may not have though about before.

  • I suppose the simplify is the hardest thing to do in these principles. To make a thing simple is harder than making a thing difficult. It is easy to understand at this case. Everyone can make a thing harder, less people can make it simple. We also can make a connection between the Few’s text and cool info graphic chapter 6. They all mentioned about to make a infographic easier. In the other word, showing not telling.

  • Taken from Hoven’s article I deem “Ask Why” as the most important Principal for data visualization. This principal is critical because it is the fundamental purpose of the data visualization. The data was acquired for the purpose of better understanding a situation, therefore “asking why” is the next step to understanding the data after acquiring it.

  • To me View Diversely is the most important. Showing data in different ways will allow more people to understand the data. Not everyone learns in the same way, so to get the information across to more people sharing the data with different ways of viewing it could help get the most impact. During planning itself this could be helpful, testing the different ways the data can be shown can help to find the most readable way to display the data.

  • All eight principles of Stephen Few’s Data Visualization is equally important because they all work with each other. To narrow it down and choose which one is the most important, I believe it is “view diversity.” When it comes to data analysis, there are different ways to look at the data that has been collected. Different people may look at the same set of data differently and this is why it is important to look at huge data with different perspectives to see how they fit together.

  • I personally believe that the most important of the eight principles of Stephen Few’s Data Visualization has to be “be skeptical”, the reasoning for this is because most people don’t question or go further into data and just trust it whole heartedly. Plus people are either too lazy or tired to look more into the modern day miracle that is data. In order to have the best results people need to triple check if it’s all true, real and if everything connects together, as well as checking if it is the best option out of all data values or types of data.

  • I think that simplicity is the most important principle. One should be able to look at an info graphic and understand how to use it without express knowledge. I believe that when it comes to visualization the simpler the design (while still keeping all of the necessary information), the easier it is to reach everyone that it needs to.

  • In my opinion, “simplify” is the most important among Stephen Few’s Data Visualization 8 core principles. This is because I think the main purpose of every data is to deliver information clearly to its audience or readers. Especially for the data visualization, I think people use this because this is more simple and clearer than other data sources with full of words. Thus, “simplify” is the most significant principle for me.

  • Simplifying our data visualizations is essential because we need to understand that most of the audiences that will be viewing our infographics will not be data mining, formula & code crunching analysts that only know how to speak through a binary language. I have definitely put a mind blowing chart up on the projector in a board room with the expectation to blow everyone’s minds and come to find that no one in the room can interpret what the data is explaining. And this is an art, taking the most intense data sets and creating a super-simplistic visual that anyone can interpret the story within a few seconds. The main goal is typically to allow the audience to completely understand the visual, believe it, and then make decisions based on what they see. I often have a colleague view the visuals and then evaluate how much I need to explain to them what it means. If it takes too long, I revisit and revise. Keep it simple.

  • All of the eight principles are important. But I think that the one who seems the most important is the “Simplify” principle. The most important part of Data Visualization is to communicate information in a simple way so that the information is accessible to most people. It is easier to understand so I think that it is the most important principle.

  • Of the eight principles, I felt that “be skeptical” was the most important. When analyzing data, it is important to consider all potential biases, errors, or any other factors that could impact the outcome of what the data is trying to display. Being skeptical and looking for any discrepancies in data will aid in filtering out anything that falsely impact the outcome of the data and help you obtain a greater fundamental understanding of the data.

  • In my opinion, simplifying the data visualizations is the most important principle. I would consider the 8 core principles as steps, and if simplifying is missing, then the rest of the principles will not work. When looking at data, the audience wants it to be simple and easily understood. If it is not, then the audience can either be confused or uninterested in the data. Also if the data is not simple, the audience may not understand or see the key point from the data visualization.

  • The most important of the eight core principles is to explore. Without the exploration of the data it is extremely difficult to find flaws that could make the data irrelevant or obsolete. It is also important to explore because one can find other answers to the problem at hand or answers to other problems through certain data sets. Exploring opens up the data to be seen from all angles and not just the one it is presented at.

  • The most important principle out of the 8 core Principles in my opinion is Explore. I think it is important to set up your visualization so a person can yes understand what you are trying to say but also come to their own conclusions. Information is more meaningful when one can discover it on them their own and come to their own conclusions.

  • Of the eight principles, “be skeptical’ is the most important idea in data realization because data may be intentionally misrepresented to persuade the reader in some way through deception. In the age of pervasive hyper-psychological marketing, people must be paranoid-ly aware of intentional misrepresentation. Sprint, for example, advertises their network coverage is within 1% of Verizon, their biggest competitor. However, their use of this seemingly unambiguous word “network coverage” is the crux of it. It does not necessarily represent what customers may think, but that is intentional. When Sprint represented their coverage compared to Verizon’s on a US map, the area was similar and the true drawback of Sprint was masked. Their signal strength isn’t good, but they cover nearly the same areas (often at weaker signals) as Verizon. Thus, we as consumers must be critically aware of what is being shown to us, where the data is sourced, what the message is, and think why it is represented as such.

  • In my opinion, “be skeptical” is the most important principle. To me, it is most important that you are getting your data from the most reliable sources. That way, you or anyone who uses your infographic is using the proper data to convey the point they are trying to make.

  • Out of the 8 principles that Hoven listed, I think “Be skeptical” is most important. As working on the previous assignment through Tableau, I felt as if I had to remain skeptical. Due to the difficulty, I was willing to allow my first choice to be my permanent choice opposed to thinking of creative ways on how to get the correct answer. When analyzing data, it is best to consider all potential outcomes opposed to having a fixed view on what the potential outcome may display. The best approach to data is to be skeptical, not cynical.

  • The most important principle out of the 8, in Hoven’s article, in my opinion is “ask why”. This is because as you are doing something, if the reason is unknown, it is highly likely that you are not very interested, and or motivated to complete that activity. Knowing the “why” for any activity is a way to know fully what you are doing. Data without knowing the “why” seems to be very pointless.

  • I believe the data visualization is the most important. It is important to be able to easily read and understand the data being represented. It is especially important for others too be able to read and use the data. Bad visualization of the data means that the data can not be used to the fullest.

  • In my opinion, the most important principle presented by Hoven is to simplify. In class we discussed the importance of being simple and easy to understand. With so much data available to us, it common to add too much or irrelevant information to an info graphic. It is also a common mistake to have an info graphic overcrowded with fonts, colors, and images that could be distracting from the overall message when they should be adding value.

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Larry Dignan Alter Hall 232 267.614.6467 Class time: 5:30-8pm, Mondays Office hours: Monday half hour before class, half hour after class or by appointment. ITA: Nathan Pham. Contact via email at