Data Visualization

Learn to use information visualizations (aka data visualizations) to achieve greater clarity and persuasiveness in your writing. Review research and theory on the information visualization. Note: The terms information visualization and data visualization may be used interchangeably, although purists sometimes reserve the term data visualization for instances where the visualization enables users to engage dynamically with the information.

Definitions & Examples

A Data Visualization may refer to


  1. Charts, Figures, Graphs, & Tables
  2. Icons, Ideograms, Pictographs
  3. Illustrations
  4. Infographics

Key Words: Best Search Tools for Images; Design; Photography; Semiotics; Visual Brainstorming; Visual Language; Visual Literacy

Why Does Information Visualization Matter?

Writers, speakers, symbol analysts . . . use visualizations

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.

Writers, speakers, knowledge workers . . . consider design principles and design elements when they compose visual documents.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.