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TEDTalk: The Beauty of Data Visualization

May 16, 2011

I recently stumbled upon a TEDTalk titled “The Beauty of Data Visualization” by David McCandless and thought I have to share this with you because it is such a great message (and David is also really funny).

In his talk David points out how visuals can make complex data and information easier to understand and process. The key point I took away from this talk:

Visualization is a form of knowledge compression – it’s squeezing enormous amounts of information and understanding into a small space.

You should really watch this video, but let me summarize some of his key points:

  • Data is the new Soil – there is so much data out there, the challenge is to make sure to utilize it effectively
  • People are DEMANDING visual aspects in the information they receive (it’s no longer optional, it is expected)
  • Visual information is effortless – it literally just pours in
  • ‘Sight’ is the fastest sense in terms of processing information
  • Visuals can give answers to complicated questions very quickly.

About TEDTalks

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

On TED.com, they make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 900 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week.

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