Definitions & Examples
A Data Visualization may refer to
- a genre or part of discourse that uses visual language to communicate
- any visual expression of information
Why Does Information Visualization Matter?
Writers, speakers, symbol analysts . . . use visualizations
- as a form of evidence when engaging in argumentation or persuasion
- to appeal to pathos and ethos
- to appeal to the readers’, listeners’, users’ senses (see concrete, sensory language).
At a glance, visualizations enable writers to identify patterns in data and better understand relationships.
Readers, listeners, users . . . experience visualizations in a primary way: visualizations engage the senses of audiences. They are so powerful that they invoke deep emotions and desires. The site of ice cream with fudge, for instance, can awaken our appetite and divert our opinion.
- Information Is Beautiful’s Data Visualizations page presents brilliant data visualizations that make it easier for readers to make sense of facts and figures. Information is beautiful. (2023). COVID-19 coronavirus data dashboard. Informationisbeautiful.net. https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/covid-19-coronavirus-infographic-datapack/
- Lenger and Eppler’s Periodic Table of Data Visualization Methods includes examples of a far broader range of strategies for visualizing data. Visual Literacy. (n.d.). A periodical table of visualization methods. Visual-literacy.org. https://www.visual-literacy.org/periodic_table/periodic_table.html
- Review of Best Practices in Data Visualization
- Franconeri, L, Padilla L. M., Shah, P., Zacks, J . M., & Hullman, J. (2021). The science of visual data communication: What works. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 22(3), iii-161.