Section 004, Instructor: Mark Sabat

Weekly Question #4: Complete by February 16, 2017

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on February 16, 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?

54 Responses to Weekly Question #4: Complete by February 16, 2017

  • According to Stephen Few the eight principles of Data Visualization are : simplify, compare, attend ,explore, view diversely, ask why, be skeptical and respond. I believe the most important principle is simplify. I think no matter what the topic is if the Data visualization cannot explain its data and importance to its audience, it will be useless. It is always important to make thing simple for the presenter and for the audience.

  • Although all eight principles are important in their own way, I think being skeptical of the data is crucial. As Few notes, too often we fail to question the information that we get from data because it is easier to just take things at face value. If we are not skeptical of what the data tells us, it isn’t as beneficial as it could be and we aren’t learning all that we can from it. Data offers us explanations but without questioning it further we cannot find solutions.

  • The most important principle is to “ask why” something is happening. Too often, people choose data they believe represents the questions being asked or the topic, but that data is not relevant. Asking the wrong questions or using irrelevant data can lead to misleading results, which can be very damaging for an individual, group, or company in the future. By asking the right questions and properly understanding the causes and effects of the data, proper actions can be taken to achieve viable results.

  • All of the eight principles are important and helpful but I think one of the most important one is simplify. This is because no one wants to look at a data visualization which is complicated and difficult to understand. The main reason that people visualize the data is to make it easier to comprehend not to make it more complex and confused. So the more simple and elegant of the data visualization, the better results it will come.

  • Although all are important together, I believe that View Diversely is the most important principle. I think when you are looking at data, it is important to look at it from different perspectives to maybe see something about it you didn’t notice before. It provides insight and can see how they work together. When it is only one person looking at it you could be missing something.

  • In my opinion, the most important principle is to “attend” because we are always interested in things that get our attention. A data visualization should present the important data in a way that impresses people, from the moment they see it, to ensure that they pay attention and keep in mind the relevant information.

  • I think all of the eight principles are important when they work collectively together. Looking at just one of the steps I believe that view diversely is extremely crucial to data analysis. From data that is collected you can draw different conclusions by looking at the data in different ways. It also enables your to link insights together to form a puzzle that will help to answer your proposed questions.

  • I believe that all 8 principals are important to data visualizations. However out of those eight principles I really feel that the principal of explore is the most important. Explore makes us use data and explore within it rather than just look for a specific answer. The purpose of data is to find out new things and explore .

  • I believe “simplify” is the most important of the eight principals because it is the element that makes data visualization unique from other forms of data presentation. Simplification is what makes rapid inferences, comparisons, and conclusions possible. While over-simplification can result in faulty conclusions, simplifying data through the use of data visualization allows a target audience to quickly understand and process the information being delivered.

  • Of the eight principles I believe ‘ask why’ is the most important. I think answering the why, or at least exploring the question is the whole reason for data visualization. No matter what the data is and how it is presented, the listener will want to know the why; why they are listening and why is the data the way it is? Without this question a meaningless visualization is the result.

  • Although all 8 principles have a purpose, I found that simplify was the most important. I believe this because most people can not read an extremely complicated graph. The more simple they lay out the data the better. I also think that the whole reason we create graphs is to make data easier to read, so the less complex the better.

  • The principle I believe is most important is simplify. A simplified data visualization could build our reliability and set ourselves apart from everyone else who can present complicated graphs, charts, or tables. It also makes it easier for the presenter to explain it and for the audience to understand it.

  • I believe that each of the 8 principles is important but I think the most important would be the one about simplification. Simplifying data means that someone must be able to understand the data and “dumb it down” enough to make a visual that anyone would be able to understand. If the data is not simplified, the visualization will not be successful.

  • The principle I find the most important is to be skeptical. I know that I am the type of person to read or look at something and simply just believe it without any questions asked, but who is to say that what I am seeing/hearing is true? I feel that being skeptical and trying to understand where the data and information is coming from is a necessity for data visualization.

  • The principle that I find to be most important is simplification. When dealing with complex, messy data, it is nearly impossible to come away with a firm conclusion which is why I find this principle to most important. For instance, if you were given a set of data that included statistics of every NFL team, it would be difficult to compare and contrast where your favorite team stood. However if one were to simplify the data by creating a bar chart of total points scored, it would be very simple to come away with a conclusion.

  • In my opinion, the most important principle of data visualization is skepticism. The number of data and analyses out there is infinite. Because of this it would be very closed minded to believe every data visualization one sees. It is very easy to look at something and have an immediate impression on it. However, oftentimes things are portrayed in a way that cause us to be visibly inclined to look at it and believe what isn’t necessarily true or as important as we perceive it. Having a skeptical mindset when looking at a data visualization simply ensures that what we are viewing is worthy of our attention for all the right reasons.

  • In my view, the most important principle amongst the 8 provided is ‘simplify’. It is important for the audience to be able to draw conclusions from the data presented, and this can only be achieved when the data visualization is used to capture the essence of data in a way that is not too ambiguous for the audience to read.

  • All of the 8 core principles of data visualization are equally important in my opinion because they work hand in hand on clarifying good data. If i had to pick the most important/valuable principle I would say be skeptical. The saying “There’s two sides to every story” goes along way and I think this relates to being skeptical. It happens too often that the first thing we see we believe to be true or useful, but thats not always good. Some information that is hidden could be more useful than the information right in front of us and that is why we have to be skeptical and research deeper into certain data to get the most useful information.

  • In my opinion the most important of the 8 core data principles is to “Attend.” I found the gorilla and ball video to be a very interesting example, and the analysis in the linked article was also valuable. It is incredibly easy for us to focus on unimportant data points especially when we are going in already looking for a trend we may miss something glaringly obvious.

  • I would say the most important principle is the compare principle. This is because you have to be able to be able to compare your data side by side. If you depend on your memory then your not going to be remember every number an effectively go through them.

  • I think the most important principle out of the eight that Stephen Few described is simplify. I believe that simplifying is the most important part when it comes to data visualization because of a visualization is too complex people will be easily confused. Data visualizers should have a clear point and should only involve one or a few aspects.

  • In my opinion the most important principle of data visualization is to compare. If you have a set of data and nothing to compare it to, there is no point in having it. Comparing numbers and data is what we do in order to understand data, make future assumptions and be more efficient as a company in future decisions.

  • I think that Simplify is the most important of the 8 principles. This step basically challenges the artist or data designer to give the audience the most important or relevant data via an easy delivery. Certain graphics are going to require multiple categories of information and a lot of extra or unnecessary data. By simplifying the data, the audience can quickly sort through information that is relevant to them. This step increases efficiency.

  • The most important core principle, in my opinion, is “Simplify”. I believe that data visualization is storytelling. The author of the visual is trying to tell the reader a story, or some core meaning. It is hard to achieve that by complex visuals, legends, colors, etc. However, at same time, i think one should not fall into the trap of oversimplification. There is a balance that is needed. Over simplified is too light on data, while properly simplified data is the most efficient.

  • Out of the eight core principles, I believe, “ask why” is the most important one. It is easy to know what’s happening but to get more detail and become more knowledgeable you need to ask why it’s happening. This will help you develop better knowledge about the specific data and help you become more interested. Knowing what’s happening is the easy part but to actually become an expert, you need to ask why it’s happening.

  • Although I agreed with all 8 points Few mentioned, I specifically liked the being skeptical of data one . This is become I come across data that is obviously biased almost EVERY DAY . It makes me mad because most people don’t even pay attention to it to see if it’s true . They just assume it is and share it around . This is why I think being skeptical of data is important specially now .

  • Although I believe that all 8 principles were essential to data visualization, but the most important principle is ‘Simplify’. Data visualization is about storytelling. Data visualization can be confusing and can be easily misunderstood. Simplifying the data makes it easier for everyone to understand. This step removes a lot of unnecessary points/information increasing efficiency and making data visualization more precise and reliable.

  • I believe the most important core principles Stephen Few notes is “simplify.” So often, I will be reading a story from a national publication and look to the data visualization or infographic to make the connection the journalist is describing more clear. But oftentimes, I read the graphic that has so much extra information that I end up with more questions than I had before. Simplifying to show the most important information in the most straightforward and understandable way is crucial for having an effective data visualization. Without having a simplified graphic that is clear to a reader, then the rest of the core principles will be hard to achieve.

  • All of the 8 principles are very important when it comes to data visualization but in my opinion the most important principle is “Simplify”. Visualization of data at times can be hard to understand so simplifying the data will make it easier for people to understand and it also increases just how precise the information is because the data is used more efficiently. All of the points tie together when it comes to data but I feel as if simplify definitely stood out in my opinion.

  • Of Few’s 8 core principles for effective data visualization tools, I believe the most important one is “explore.” We are often limited by the specific question we are trying to answer or the hypothesis we are trying to prove. However, it is important for a good data visualization tool to let you “play around” with the data, allowing analysts to discover new insights they were not necessarily looking for. Being able to freely explore the data allows us to take a less narrow approach to data analysis.

  • I think the most important principle is “Explore”. When creating a data visualization, answering one question shouldn’t be your only mission. You should start answering more questions and inform everyone related facts and information. That is what will make your data more useful. It will also let anyone who sees it fully understand the context you are trying to give.

  • Out of the 8 important principles, I believe the most important is “simplify”. I always see too complex data that either takes too long to look at and understand or I’m not able to understand it at all. As said by Hoven, “good data visualization captures the essence of data”. I think simplifying data visualization so everyone can understand it at a glance makes it almost perfect.The other principles are definitely important but not as important as simplifying.

  • I think all eight all compliment each other in their own way. They each have a role to work on. It is possible for one to work without the other, but I also think though that one will need the other to work with.

  • In Hoven’s article, eight core principles were: simplify, compare, attend, explore, view diversely, ask why, be skeptical and respond. In my opinion the most crucial of these principles is ask why. Asking why is an important step in any data analysis; just like in this class, before we began looking at data we had to come up with hypothesizes. Asking the wrong question or coming up with the wrong hypothesis can sometimes lead to misuse of data and not proving the right answer. This is why I believe being skeptical is the second most important principle following asking why.

  • I think Hoven’s most important data visualization rule is simplification. Especially when it comes to data visualizations for journalism and in the news, it’s necessary that the audience is not confused by ambiguous information that’s irrelevant to them. The audience should only be provided with the information they need, or else it is simply a distraction.

  • I think the most important rule is simplification.For the person who read the data it has to be easier for them to obtain the data they want without missing anything important. And that job for the person who post the data is clue.Also if it’s simplified it means it will be better to digest and it could attract.

  • I believe that out of all of Hoven’s eight rules, the most important one is to simplify. Data charts are simple will lead to more people being able to understand what they are looking at. All too often there is an article with a lot of charts with a lot of data, but the data is way too complicated and the charts don’t make sense. This makes it hard for people to understand the point trying to be displayed through the data. Simple charts are vital to the understanding and knowledge of data on a wide scale.

  • All of the rules are valid and important, but I believe the most important rule is to be skeptical. Without proper analysis of the data, you are tempted to arrive at the easiest possible conclusion, which may be erroneous. If you graph the correlation between ice cream consumption in the United States compared with the increase in gun violent you may be inclined to believe that ice cream causes gun violence – they both spike in the summer months. In actuality, people eat ice cream in the summer months because its hot and gun violence increases in the summer months because people are more likely to be outside and interacting at gatherings. If you are not skeptical of the data and the correlation vs causation, you are more likely to arrive at the wrong conclusions.

  • All the 8 Principles are important in there own way, however, I thought Compare was the most important. In order to get a full picture, one needs to see the data side by side. The results will not be the same, if you memorize one data set and mentality compare it to the current data set being viewed.

  • Of these eight core principles, I believe that the most important is to be skeptical. To be skeptical is to be human; while computer programs can accept the data that is presented to them, even if they are built to notice flaws, we can’t replicate the complexity of the human brain in analyzing data.

  • According to Stephen Few, there are Eight Core Principles for constructing a well executed, and effective data visual. The principles provide a wide range, and great variety of what it means to create a visually stunning work of data. Though on their own terms, the most compelling of the Eight would be “Ask Why”. Personally this was a stand out, mainly because it allows for the continuation of data, and furthering one’s research. Displaying a set of data, sure it’s striking in sight that one variable has an affect on another variable, but it’s best to answer why these variables hold a correlation with one another. Asking why the data is like this, and why it’s happening in the first place, allows for an open discussion, allowing the creation of hypotheses, and eventually the conduction of experiments.

  • I believe that Compare is the most important because data is mores useful to us when compared to other data. By comparing we can tell whether something is actually changing as a result or spot a correlation but without comparing we may not know if a certain situation is unique to this year or if it was a trend for the last decade. We’ll always be making decisions as we live our lives so comparing which option is better especially in business situations, is essential.

  • Out of the 8 core principles of data visualization, “simplification” is the most important one. This is a crucial attribute when it comes to making visuals because being clear and concise is key. Presenting information in an efficient manner to your audience is very critical. It is also more pleasing to the eye and will attract more interest in the topic you are presenting.

  • In the Hoven’s article, there were eight core principles were: simplify, compare, attend, explore, view diversely, ask why, be skeptical and respond. The most important core principle in the Hoven’s article is “Simplify”. I believe that the meaning data visualization is storytelling, the author of the data visualization is trying to tell the reader a meaning of the story. It is hard to realize that by composite visuals, legends, and colors. Though, at the same time, I think that one should not fall into the deception of simplification. Oversimplified is very light on data, while appropriately simplified data is the most efficient data that we can view.

  • In my opinion I believe “Be Skeptical” is the most important principle. The article goes on to tell that all too often people take the first answer given as gospel and my beliefs align with this theory. With things so readily available to us, people hardly ever challenge or look further into matters.

  • Although all the eight core principles Stephen Few recognizes seem to hold equal importance, personally I think in data visualization, the principles of “simplify” is most important. This seemed most crucial to me in displaying data because if the data is represented in a confusing or messy manner, the message of its importance will be hard to comprehend. Data visualization after all, is about representation and enabling easier interpretation of data collected. Therefore, I think the most important core principle is to “simplify” so that everyone can learn from the visual.

  • Comparison is the most important for me personally. A number compared to nothing is nothing, a number compared to another number is a insight. In digital analytics software like Google Analytics, if you don’t compare one of your findings to another factor like time, then your data is useless.

  • I think that ‘ask why’ is the most important principle in data visualization. It’s easy to just say that something is happening, but a deeper analysis is vital in trying to make a point across. Why something is happening shows what changes can be made in order to expand on the trend or prevent it from happening in the future, and for real change to occur.

  • I believe the most important one is simplify I believe this because data need to be easy for the consumer and person alanayzimg the data to read it in a matter that it easy and simple. If data is umstructured then it going be hard for us to take the data and make predictions on it

  • I believe the most important step of the 8 is to be skeptical. Its always important to question the answers you have gotten or the data you are given. This is because at first glance some information can be misleading or even slightly wrong. When you are skeptical of things it helps you to derive the truth and utility of whatever you are doing.

  • The 8 Core principles on data visualization are Simplify, Attend, Compare, Explore, View Diversely, Ask Why, Be Skeptical, and Respond. I think the most important one is to Ask Why? There is so much data in the world today and not all data is accurate to it is important that you are getting a good understanding of the visualization.

  • I think the point of simplification is most important and I think that’s why it comes first on the list. In my opinion, before anyone would look into the details of a data visualization, it should first be pleasing to the sight and simple to decipher whatever information the data is trying to pass across.

  • After reading the article, I feel that “simplify” is the most relevant. Data that cannot be processed is useless and I feel that the larger the audience is that data is able to impact, the more effective the data is. The simpler the data is, the larger the audience is that can process it is so therefore the usefulness is increased as simplicity is increased.

  • I think the most important rule is simplification. The data that reading by people has to be easy for them to get the data they want without missing any important point. Also if it’s simplified it means it is easier to digest and it can attract.

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Office Hours
Mark Sabat (instructor) 2:30-3:30pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Speakman Hall 207h or by appointment.
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