Join Mordy Golding for an in-depth discussion in this video Visualizing data vs. presenting data, part of Creating Infographics with Illustrator (2013).
In the previous movie we discussed four steps of developing a compelling story for an Infographic, one of those being Data Visualization or DataViz for short. There's an important distinction between visualizing data and presenting data. Understanding the difference will help you craft the perfect Infographic. Imagine you're a chef charged with preparing a scrumptious dinner for an important guest. You walk into the supermarket with just about every ingredient possible before you. How do you decide what to serve for dinner? What appetizers will you prepare, how about the entree, and how will you cap the meal with a perfect dessert? You immediately start to envision different combinations of ingredients.
What foods will complement each other? At this stage you don't yet know what the final result will be, but you're already picking up ingredients and searching for inspiration, trying to imagine how you might combine different ingredients, spices or flavors to create that perfect meal. You're visualizing the possibilities, experimenting until you've made a decision. Now fast-forward a few hours and it's now dinnertime, you've already explored all the options and have made decisions. You're about to present the meal that you've prepared.
When you are developing an Infographic, visualizing data is a powerful way to find compelling stories to tell. Experimenting with different ways to view your data is essential, because it reveals patterns that you might not see otherwise. Seeing your story from multiple points of view can also help prove that your findings or interpretations are correct. Perhaps most importantly, it helps you find the very best way to present your data. Speaking of presenting data, what your final infographic portrays, the story that it tells, is completely up to you.
In other words you can choose to present your own interpretation of the data, or you may choose to provide information in an interactive fashion that allows the viewer to do their own experimentation, their own visualization and form their own conclusions. It's true that at DataViz is something that is usually associated with big data; large companies like IBM or Amazon.com that attempt to interpret huge sets of data, like tracking the spread of diseases worldwide or making recommendations based on previous purchases.
While that's true, don't forget that DataViz is also useful when building individual infographics. Use it to your advantage.
- Visualizing data vs. presenting data
- Understanding the anatomy of an Illustrator graph
- Formatting data with Illustrator
- Defining the scale for charts
- Adding numeric values
- Designing your own chart from scratch
- Creating simple icons
- Building line, bar, column, and matching-scale charts
- Adding a table with threaded text
- Creating a layered PDF for distribution