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Data Visualisation has become an important aspect of our lives and the ability to present data in interesting ways has always had a role in teaching and learning. On behalf of Tableau Software, Andy Kirk recently presented a fascinating overview of the challenges of Art vs Science in data presentation.

The overall message is that the nature of the visualisation needs to be appropriate for its intent – is this exploring or explaining, thinking or feeling? So, for example, is a filter needed to explore the content or is a bold graphical statement required? 

Andy refers to his excellent web site visualisingdata.com during the presentation – the ‘resources‘ section contains a massive selection of applications that could be used, including a ‘Web’ section where most of the free online tools can be found. We have already experimented with some of these – Tableau Public and Infogram, for example – but there are many promising new ones such as Numberpicture that we hope to review as they become more polished. The ability to link to live data feeds as well as static data opens up a wide range of possibilities.

The video is a little long – around 50 minutes – and the sound is quite poor (it was a webcast after all), but is highly recommended for anyone considering creating infographics or visualisations themselves or asking students to submit assignments in this format.

Click here to launch the video      (slides from the presentation – large file! 85mb)

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