Section 001, Instructor: Laurel Miller

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?

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

  • I think the most important of the eight principles of data visualization is Compare. Data isn’t as meaningful if it isn’t accompanied by something to compare it to. For example, simply showing a company’s sales for this year doesn’t mean much if you’re not also looking at how it compares to past years. You don’t know if the sales are improving or not if you don’t have a point of reference.

  • In my opinion, the most important data visualization principle would have to be “Ask Why”. This is because many companies make decisions everyday on data; and never grasp the whole concept of why they made that choice. If business leaders and professionals, just take the time and day to comprehend their data decisions they will offer a competitive advantage to the company.

  • I believe that the most important principle is to “be skeptical”. In today’s day and age we look at information and immediately just accept the information chosen. People do not search for more and ask questions about further analyses simply because its too much work. With more tools like Tableau coming out, these interactive infographics are making it easier for people to search for more information.

  • The most important of the eight core principles in my opinion is the “explore.” Data has been used widely for many applications. If we can find more data from a data set that we already have, we can theoretically predict something with our data. We could find something else that pertains to other data, where we can find relationships and trends to have a better understanding of the population we took our data from.

  • The most important of the eight is “Explore” with “Be Skeptical” coming in a close second. Exploring is the most important because it expands our horizons. Our speaker, Maurice, said that he’s come this far by being able to play with data and seeing patterns and drawing conclusions for questions that aren’t even being asked. Some of the greatest inventions throughout history have been accidents (e.g. X-Ray images, Potato Chips, Post-It Notes, etc.). Now that we’re in the digital age, data, too, can help us “accidentally” answer questions.

  • I think the most important principle would have to be the ‘View Diversely’. Data is provided to one in a daily basis but if the person viewing the data do not have any insights into it then pretty much the data would be useless to that person. Having different views would provide different insights on the same data and through the different insights, one can figure out the connections upon the data they are viewing.

  • I believe the most important principle that Hoven provided is “View Diversely”. People utilize data visualizations to look and explore the data that as been gathered. The ultimate goal of viewing this data is to gain insights on the data and learn how the data can be used to better a process. It is incredibly important for those who view the visualizations to understand and analyze the data from different perspectives in order to uncover some of those important insights. Because of this, “View Diversely” is the most important of the 8 core principles that Hoven discusses.

  • One of the most important principles in my opinion is “Simplify.” I believe it is most important to make a visual user friendly to the point where a child can understand the concept of your graph. As the article states, there is no reason to have too many options. If it takes all these options to try to simply, the visual can be classified as clutter or inefficient.

  • In my opinion the most important of the eight rules would be “View Diversely”. Looking at data from different perspectives can open up a whole new outlook on the data being analyzed and that to me is extremely important. A new perspective can be a game changer when creating data visualizations because you are opening your mind to new thoughts and ideas.

  • In my opinion, the most important rule is “explore”. Everything starts off with exploring. One can’t question something, compare, respond, attend, etc. if there is no starting point. Plus it’s important to discover and explore which data visualization tools will be best to allow someone to perform the other core principles.

  • I think the most important principle out of the eight principles in “simplify”. As stated in the article, “Good data visualization takes the burden of effort off brain and puts it on the eyes.” Data visualization should be simple for anyone to look at and their should be no clutter or chart junk. Looking at a data set can be confusing and challenging, therefore, having a simple, effect data visual is the best way to present information to an audience.

  • I think all 8 principles are equally important because good data visualization has to include all of them. However, the principle “Be Skeptical” stays with me after the reading. Most of us, or at least me, tends to accept the first answer for our question, probably not because exploring further is hard as the article says. In fact, we unconsciously accept what confirms our belief and jump to the conclusion quickly. We are mostly satisfied with the first answer. So I think being skeptical is one of the important things that we should pay more attention at on data visualization.

  • I believe the most important principle is to “ask why.” You can create as many graphics as you want to visualize data, but if you don’t understand what is happening with data or why the data looks like it does, it is useless. It is important to be able trace the data back to its source so you can take action and use the data in a meaningful way.

  • I think the most important principle is “Be Skeptical.” One of the main issues with basing decisions off of data is that it can always be wrong or really biased. If the people who are receiving the data are skeptical, they will factor in their own research, second opinions, and common sense when making decisions. It’s important to realize not everything shown in numbers is true., by being skeptical, those who are gathering data will put more effort into being accurate and not just looking for data that proves their theory to be true.

  • After reading over the Data Visualization: 8 Core Principles article from this week again, I personally believe that most important of these 8 principles is the “Explore” concept. To me, exploring is huge when looking at and analyzing data; seeing what data is out there and what exactly that data means. Exploring also helps us discover and interpret new things when visualizing data, and I believe that this is one of the most important, if not the most important principle of data visualization.

  • I believe the most important principle is to “Be Skeptical”. I think a lot of times, many of us grab the first data and information that we see as true. “If it’s on google, it must be true,” as the saying goes. However, if everyone became skeptical of the data that they received, they would be much more successful in the long run as well as more accurate. People would think twice, question, and be rational with the data. We should know that not everything we see is true, and it’s a good habit for us to take a step back from time to time and a little research of our own.

  • Exploring, makes everything better. In my opinion, the most important principle is to “Explore”. Data is very famous, and there’s billions of it, so exploring is a very important to make the data much better. There may be data on the idea you are looking at, or data that may help you a lot. Also, exploring can cause you to decide what exactly you are looking for or what you are trying to make. So, overall exploring can cause your data to be a hundred times better, and even sometimes making it easier.

  • I believe the most important principle is to “explore.” An interactive data set allows you to get more out of the data rather than just interpreting on your own. It also encourages the maker to include all crucial data. Given our access to data today, people are more inclined to explore a data set if it is interactive than if it is just presented in front of them.

  • I believe the most important principle is to “Simplify.” Modern design is all about simplicity. With data visualization, you are going to have a variety of data that will be inter-related; however, you must be able to discern the most important and presentable data from the not so important and focus-oriented data. Afterwards, when presenting the data, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication as data simplified in visuals is much easier to understand compared the complex visuals that are difficult to comprehend.

  • Of course all 8 principles are very important, however I think “Ask why” is the most important one. I say this because this is what I’ve been taught my whole life in everything. Always ask what is going on and and why its happening. In this case with Data visualization, there is alot going on, so you want to know whats going on and why its happening.

  • Out of the 8 core principles, I believe “Simplify” is the most important principle. I feel this way because simplify allows the user to ascertain the key relationship between data, and give him the essence or the most important aspects regarding a certain data set. Simplify does not over complicate or oversimplify data, but enables the viewer to grasp the whole picture or message that the data is trying to communicate. That is why I believe that “Simplify” is the most important principle when it comes to good data visualization.

  • Since the article addresses the core principles of Data Visualization, I believe the most important one is “Simplify”. Based on the fact that a good data visualization on its essence must be simple enough to “take the burden of effort off brain and puts it on the eyes”, the “simplify” principle represents the core value of the concept of data visualization, and therefore it is the most important one in which all the others will unfold. Once the data is simplified and focus-oriented, one can after compare, attend, explore, view diversely, ask why, be skeptical and respond. In other words, without a simplified visualization of the data presented all other principles are harder to accomplish. Therefore, the simplification must be our starting point.

  • Although all 8 core principles are essential to evaluate data visualizations, I believe that the most crucial principle is “be skeptical”. I feel that we as a society rely too much on technology and what the internet states; we easily believe what is written on the internet. As the article mentions, we do not question the answers we derive from data visualizations, and we just assume that the first answer we get is correct because exploring data can be tedious. Additionally, we can also be biased, and make wrong assumptions based on other’s opinions or further research. By doing so, we won’t be able to fully grasp the purpose of the data. Thus, it is necessary to be skeptical of the data we are analyzing in order to better understand it.

  • Of the eight core principles listed, I am most attracted to Explore. Exploring into data is my personal favorite because I already do it on my own. One second you’re on topic A and next thing you know you’re into a random data set and have no idea how you got there cause you’re so intrigued. On top of that, it correlates to regular, every day life as exploring is the best way to learn more about yourself and find new things.

  • This was kind of a tough choice but I would say the most important would be to respond. People spend so much time gathering and understanding data that it almost wouldn’t make sense not to share what you discovered. Grant it, all the steps of discovering, exploring and critiquing data are important but the sole purpose of data is to help, influence or support ideas in society. If the data doesn’t go beyond the person discovering it, how will we ever know of the discovery?

  • In my opinion, the compare principle is the most essential to data visualization and for presenting data. Most data alone is very limited in terms of knowledge and what/how you can extract from it. Data is more useful if its used to compare with other data that is either based on historical or estimated values. This provides an opportunity to understand data in a different way and can change the accuracy of an original hypothesis. Also, a visualization that compares two topics is more appealing for the audience and how your insights are received. Comparison is an art more than it is a science, but having visualizations reflecting data collected makes it easier to create.

  • I believe that the most relevant principle when it comes to data is to ‘be skeptical’ because not all the data is true and verified. This is mainly due to the fact that people do not want to much time on researching data so they just take information from other people who previously gathered it. A good example would be false information on social networks that people take for granted because they are available on a reliable platform such as Facebook. The best advice I could give to someone who is trying to visualize data would be to keep researching without being superficial and rely on the first set of data that he or she finds.

  • I believe the most relevant one would be simplify because of the fact that a good data visualization has to be simple enough for the person who is looking to understand and comprehend it. A good data visualization must be simple enough “to take the burden out to have a for all of your brain and put it on the eyes” this saying it makes the information simple and the more simple the information is the easier it is to understand.

  • One of the most imperative principles out of the eight listed by the author is that of the “Why”. Even if one can compare, explore, and simplify the data to the best of his/her ability, one cannot soundly explain the fundamental meaning of the data to a normal individual in simple terms, if one does not completely fathom the data oneself. Furthermore, knowing the why will also help the individual comprehend where the results came from, and whether or not to be skeptical about the data, and plausibly how to respond to the data. Thus, since the “why” connects most of the rest of the core principles together, I believe that the “why” is the most imperative, out of the eight core principles.

  • I think the most important principle out of the eight listed in the article is “Ask why”. When creating data you can have various amounts of data to make that are both serious and not serious. However, without a main purpose or background of the data you are creating the whole data in general that can be useless or even just not something that can benefit something. That is why if you can ask yourself why you’re making this data then it is a useful data and it can benefit others in the future when finding an answer for something.

  • I think the most important principle in data visualization is “Be Skeptical”. Being skeptical is a way to ensure the data’s reliability. To present a trustworthy data visualization, data analysts should not trust data the first time they see it but have to constantly ask questions to improve the data’s credibility.

  • I think that “being skeptical” is the most important of the 8 principles because we need to be asking more questions. Just because something is in front of you, that does not mean that the information is correct. You want to make sure you are consuming the right information and also producing the right data right back. We must be actively be questioning the accuracy of what we are reading.

  • To me i believe the most important one of the eight principles is compare. Because if you can not compare the data to anything you can not get any information from the data. For example, if the Philadelphia flyers had 20 wins back in 1995 and we only look at that year,yes we can say it was not a great season. but if tyou look at the wins for every year after that you would be able to see the progression of the team.

  • Out of the eight principles of data visualization, I believe that “view diversely” is the most important one. Having a variation of insights into data, showing it and connecting it in different ways can help more people understand the data better.

  • I believe that the most important of the 8 principles in data visualization is being skeptical. I think this because you shouldn’t accept everything as it seems. Rarely are things exactly what they seem; you should always be questioning and diving deeper into everything that crosses your path. If you’ve exhausted all possible ways to look at/interrupt something and you still come up with the same answer, you can be confident in your findings. The more accurate your information, the better your data.

  • The principle that I believe is most important is being skeptical. It is very possible to come across data that looks convincing but was obtained from an unreliable source. Using unreliable or incorrect data can lead to false information being spread which can be damaging. It is important that people are aware of the information they are being presented and check the sources and references to see if they are reliable. Being skeptical is more than just doubting the data but also making certain that the visual aspects that are presented aren’t being manipulated. It is very easy for people to make bar or line charts with improper scales in order to mislead people about a relationship that may be less significant.

  • I think simplifying is the most important for data visualization. No one should present a data visualization that is complicated and time consuming to understand. There are many other tasks to work on than looking at a data visualization for an hour.

  • I think that the most important principal is “ask why”. I believe this because all of the data in the world would be useless without knowing why he data is presenting in the way that it is. Without being able to analyze the data and realizing the driving factors behind it, nothing can be done to reliably manipulate the data and use it to further any causes that the person analyzing it may have.

  • Simplify strikes me as the most important principle since presentation is so essential when it comes to sharing data. Communication is such an important tool in business that being able to simplify data in a presentation and make it understandable to an audience is vital. The data you find has no meaning if you cannot communicate it so therefore that is why I believe simplify is the most important principle.

  • I think the most important principle would have to be the ‘View Diversely’. Because if we try to understand data in a new way, we can get more useful information. Sometimes, we blocked in data, but if we change our view diversely, we may find an absolutely new answer.

  • I think “compare” is the most important principle. People are always looking for a better choice of something and compare is a useful tool. For example, people line up to get stuff they want on Black Friday after they compare the price. They know they can get the same thing with a lower price. This principle also applies to business because firms are looking for materials and services with the same quality and lower price.

  • Out of 8 Core principles, I believe “view diversely” is the most important for data visualization. Every person have different perspectives and knowledges. As a good visualization tool, I think data should be able to help more people to understand the data better.

  • Ask why, to me, is most important because it provides a reason for doing analysis in the first place. If you aren’t looking for the source of a problem and how it can be solved, there isn’t much point to data visualization. To me, the point is to teach the reader something by creating information, so being able to answer why something is happening is much more important in visualization than anything else.

  • I think the most important principle is “simplify.” It is important to know when you are oversimplifying, especially based on the audience the data is being presented to. Communication is key. If very few people in the audience have extensive knowledge on the topic, you will probably have to break it down more, but you would not simplify it like you are talking to a class full of first-graders.

  • I think the most important principle is to “ask why” because this makes you dig deeper into the data that you are analyzing. It allows you to gain more knowledge about the specific data. Asking why can also allow you to realize if the information you have is practical enough for others to understand.

  • I believe that the compare principle is the most important. This is because one set of data is very limited in what you can derive from it. If you have multiple sets of data that relates to one issue you then can form a hypothesis relating to the problem. Multiple sets of data helps people compare factors that they may never have compared. Lastly, Multiple sets of data help you become more accurate when finding a solution to a problem.

  • I believe that simplify is the most important data visualization principle in this article. Without simplifying the visualization it is much more difficult to read the data and create a story in my opinion. Having graphics and charts that are easy to understand helps create a story for what the data behind it is trying to tell. This helps with many businesses when they show their profit margins and what departments are the most profitable and efficient. So in my opinion simplifying the data is the most important principle.

  • I think that the most important data visualization is “simplify” because it is essential in presented the data in an effective and efficient way without over complicating things. Most data that does not look good is because it has too many aspects going on at one time, which is not a beneficial way to present data. But a key factor to remember, is to not oversimplify it either because then you limit the data by minimizing your representation of it.

  • I would say that simplify is the most important core principle to data visualization. Simplicity is key to displaying data for viewers. By keeping images such as charts or graphs simple and easy to read, it makes it more appealing to viewers while also allowing them to receive and interpret the data easier. Having too much going on in a data visualization is confusing and unappealing. Therefore, simplicity is the most important principle in my opinion.

  • In my opinion, “compare” is the most important principle out of the 8 core principles, because the data isn’t really helpful if we can’t compare our data to others. In other words, data visualization’s role is maximized when it helps comparing data. Also, as Hoven mentioned in his article we can’t hold the details of our data visualizations in our memory. Therefore, I believe that compare is the most important principle.

  • Out of the 8 Core Principles, I think the most important one in data visualization is “Be Skeptical”. I think this one is important because as we’ve been learning in class, visuals aren’t always what they seem. You may think they are trying to tell you one thing but it’s a completely different approach. I think being skeptical to data allows you to follow through with the other core principles by trying to make logical sense out of the whole thing.

  • I think the most important part of visualization is asking why. When creating visuals from data nothing is accomplished if we don’t peruse what we have found. Anyone can take data and make it into a graph. Finding what the data means takes it to a whole new level. For example, if car production increases at the same rate as CO2 emissions, to prevent global warming it doesn’t make sense to stop producing cars. We can ask why they produce CO2, and work around that. We could transition to fuel cell cars or electric to lower CO2 emissions, meeting the goal through asking why.

  • I believe the most important principle of this article is to simplify. I am not a management information systems major and can get confused if things are too complicated. For a program to be more simple and user friendly is very important to me and I think it is the most important principle. It cannot be too simple, but the more user friendly the more I like it.

  • The most important part of visualization in my opinion is skepticism. When people get 1 answer, they automatically assume it is correct. Because data analysis has become hard, people are becoming lazy to rerun it back. It becomes quite lengthy to do but if you have the wrong data you automatically have invalid data that you can’t do anything with. I feel like you need to make sure your data is set before you go any further with it.

  • In my opinion out of the eight core data visualizations, comparing is the most important. I think compare is the most important data visualization because when looking at different sets of data you need to be able to compare them and read them. It lets you differentiate between data sets which can be the solution to many different problems.

  • Out of the eight core data visualizations, I believe that viewing diversely is the most important. This really opens up someones mind to other perspectives so you aren’t trapped in one state of mind. It lets you see what else is out there when it comes to looking at data.

  • I think that being skeptical is a very important aspect of visualization. It goes hand in hand with so many of the other core principles. Being skeptical about the information you are seeing can help you assure that it is correct and not being used to sway the intended audience. If you are skeptical, then you will explore the information to find out additional details that might not be obvious while looking at an example of data visualization. It is much better to do that than to just accept that the data is going to be accurate right off the bat. This idea applies to many other things beside data visualization, but that does not make it any less important in this regard.

  • Of the 8 core principles for good data visualization, I thought that the most important was the explore principle. This makes the viewer have to do more than just look and retained the information from the visualization, but instead, it makes them have to view through all the data there to get the full just of it. This will, in turn, create more interactive and engaging visualizations of data sets that will better do their job to whom whoever is viewing the data.

  • Out of the 8 core principles or good data visualization I believe that the most important one is to simplify. I’m not a FOX or MIS major so when I look at data I don’t want to be confused by it or overwhelmed, so I like data to be simple and straight to the point. So simplicity will make data easier to understand and more versatile for people that do not understand more complicated data

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Office Hours
Laurel Miller (instructor) 11:00am-12:00pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Speakman Hall 210 or by appointment.
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Rebecca Jackson (ITA) By appointment only. Email:
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