Data is Beautiful

I’ve sent sometime going through old videos to think about the possibilities of approaching the data assignment. I find generic bar charts and graphs to be rather monotonous and overwhelming for audiences, so I decided to check out David McCandless, a data journalist who produced designs using an accumulation of data to make it understandable to an audience with ease. I loved it. I was always fond of analysing data and stories to find something interesting to talk about. The TED talk below really inspired me to consider how the information is considered to a simple design which highlights an abundance of information. I’m interested in the idea of animating my design to avoid a repetitious and uninspired outcome. I need a little challenge!

I even revisited the Scott McCloud talk to think about how the data can be presented like a story to maintain the consistency of my studies this semester.

Nathan Yau best summarises the significance of data visualisation as a way to ‘find stories that you might never have found with just formal statistical methods’ (2011, xvi introduction). He further stats that ‘data is a representation of real life. It’s not just a bucket of numbers. There are stories in that bucket’ (2011, pg. 2). Much like the ways described by McCandless, we can find a story from the way that data formulates. We are watching how ‘relationships’ develop over a certain period of time, the rises and falls and the general progress of what the data aims to show (2011, pg. 11). Börner and Polley expand on the more complex thinking of data visualisation and argue that a condensation of the data into it’s simplistic form allows viewers to find deeper understanding and draw on further levels of data outside those on display (2014, pg. 3)


BÖRNER, K. and POLLEY, D. (2014) Visual Insights: A Practical Guide to Making Sense of Data. Massachusetts: MIT Press

YAU, N. (2011) Visualise This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualisation, and Statistics. Indiana: Wiley Publishing


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