Data Visualization

“The Cognitive Style of Powerpoint” contradicts  what we have been taught about presentations since high school. Basic steps to prepare a “successful” presentation were as follows. First, there was one acceptable way to do a presentation which was Powerpoint. Secondly, the fewer the words, the better the presentation, regardless of the subject and the data. Thirdly, every point had to be in a hierarchical list and the main points should be in different slides.

I believe many of us experienced the points mentioned about Powerpoint in the article. When I became a teacher, I had to use powerpoint as a main teaching tool in chemistry classes because it was a school rule. Think about the chemistry problems in one slide with a really tiny font and the answers in another slide. The students were usually lost. Also, I recalled that the vast amount of time that we were trying to interpret data from the overlapped numbers in tiny graphs. 

If the powerpoint has many defects for reporting and analyzing statistical data, are there better tools? The article suggests word-processing or page lay-out softwares instead of using Powerpoint. Furthermore, it assumes that there would be better reporting tools which focused on evidence analysis and display. Indeed, with the help of software tools, now, we have more options  to visualize the statistical information. These data visualizations can hold more content and well-quality graphics.

As a data visualization example, I will analyze the infographic above. In the visualization, the definitions, quantitative data and information about overfishing can be seen. The data are given in pie charts and graphs. The units of the data are correctly given. Also, comparisons are used to make the data more concrete such as the capacity of the net. The usage of visuals make the infographic more attractive to the readers. For instance, fish pictures are creative as well as informative. Although blue color is dominant color which refers to the ocean, other colors are also used to attract attention. I believe overall space is well-used to give enough information. However, some people may find the visual difficult to follow. One thing I couldn’t read is the column of Tragedy of Commons graph. All in all, I think this infographic is well-designed and effective to convey the information to readers.


2 thoughts on “Data Visualization

  1. I found the infographic informative, but as you mentioned, it was a bit overwhelming to follow. It seems to have a lot present. The small font in some areas make it difficult to read. I especially liked the fish with percentages at the bottom. I found them easy to decipher and the information was clear. Overall, it’s an appealing way to address the topic; I just found it over-packed with too much information.


  2. I agree with you ladies as well. Perhaps this infographic could’ve been broken down into two or three different graphics instead of one. However it does provide a great visual of the data and like the article it provides very technical points on overfishing.


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