In an article dating from last May, The Economist argued that data was “the world’s most valuable resource.” We could not agree more. Gathering data is not enough. Finding appropriate ways to visualise it and communicate it is just as crucial.
… and garnered a few observations from the “Beyond the Graphing Calculator” talk. Here is what Wezit’s Alexia Casanova shared with us.
We all take information in differently
In her “#musedata is cool” presentation, Angie Judge from DEXIBIT reminded us all that we all like to take in information in different ways. Some people respond better to raw numbers, others prefer visual representations, creative propositions, stories or text. It is essential to adapt to whoever you are trying to communicate this information to. Good data visualization should help your team make informed strategic decisions. When paired with geolocation technology, it gives you a better understanding of how visitors are progressing through space and how you can improve the visiting experience based on their habits.
Data visualization is not dumbing down information
Elizabeth Bollwerk is an Archaeological analyst at the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS), an initiative of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which happens to share all of the data regarding their archaeological collection on their website. In her presentation, she stressed the need to “[portray] the data meaning accurately and ethically.” She explains that presenting data in a creative way shouldn’t compromise the accuracy of the information that is being shared. Good data visualization should help you understand information quickly but also allow you to make informed strategic decisions.
The future of data visualization is bright
Jeff Steward from the Harvard Art Museums presented a series of extremely creative data visualisations including a representation of the whole museum’s collection in the form of a solar system. “Can data be immersive?” he asked, “what if I could walk through data with virtual reality?” This would certainly be a wonderful way to weave data into a tangible and playful experience.
Angie Judge described what the future of data visualization looks like for DEXIBIT: machine learning models predicting what tomorrow’s data will be and friendly chat bots answering decision-makers’ questions based on the data collected. Exciting, isn’t it?
Our partner, Wezit, is a software development company that integrates Accuware’s technology to develop complete solutions, such as tour apps for cultural institutions. Our latest collaboration is a geolocated mobile app for the newly reopened Musée d’Arts de Nantes.