Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space. - Edward Tufte
The ever increasing computational capacity has enabled us to acquire, process and analyze larger data-sets and information. However, the human memory and attention required to use this data is more limited and has remained relatively constant. Data visualisation can enable us to compress data and encode them in ways to aid perceptual, cognitive and emotional capacity required to comprehend, retain and make decisions using this data. This workshop is designed to help you learn the art and science of data visualisation.
The aim of the workshop is to provide a thorough introduction to the art and science of data visualisation. These are the main objectives:
- Understand the value of data visualisation and the role it plays in business analytics and decision making
- Learn the theory of data visualisation including grammar, types, color, annotation, flow, animation, interaction etc.
- Build an understanding of visual perception and cognition to gain an intuitive sense of how data visualisation work
- Get exposure to multiple tools that can be used to create data visualisation
- Learn through practice the multiple contexts in which data visualisation is used in business
- Static visualisation (say, adding a chart in a report)
- Dashboard visualisation (say, monitoring KPIs in a operational or strategic dashboard)
- Narrative visualisation (say, telling a compelling data-story in a presentation)
- Interactive visualisation (say, allowing user to visually explore a complex data-set)
The workshop would be scheduled over two days and would be delivered with a mix of teaching, discussion and reflections, as well as individual and group exercises. It would aim to cover the following topics.
Session #1: Value of Data Visualisation
- Start with exploring the visual-wired and the story-wired brain
- Understand the value of visualisation - Expression (record), Exploratory (analyze) and Explanatory (communicate)
- See the role of data visualisation in business analytics and decision making - descriptive, deductive, predictive and prescriptive
- Introduction to data models (variable types, dimensions, measures) and visual encoding options
- Principles of graphical perception and integrity
Session #2: Theory of Data Visualisation
- Learn the grammar of graphics: data, variable mapping, data transformation, geometric shape, position and aesthetics, a coordinate system, and scale transformation
- See the principles of data-ink and chart-junk
- Understand how visual perception works and how it can be applied to choose the appropriate visualisations
Exercise #1: Visualisation Critique
Session #3: Types of Data Visualisation
- Understand types of questions answered by data visualisations and graphics that can be used to represent them
- Explore a guide to choosing appropriate type of graphical representations
- Learn about graphical representations that are best avoided or minimized
Session #4: Tools for Data Visualisation
- Understand the tools landscape: Charting-based tools, Grammar-based tools and Canvas-based tools
- Overview and introduction to select tools for data visualisation
- Hands-on exercises for creating simple visualisations in some of these tools
Exercise #2: Static Visualisation
Session #5: Using Color and Annotation in Data Visualisation
- Make effective use of color in visualisation - color for categorical encoding, color for quantitative encoding
- Understand use of typography and annotation within graphical communication
- Explore design of secondary graph components - trend and reference lines, scales, tick marks, grid lines, axes and legends
Session #6: - Creating High Density Data Visualisation
- Choosing visual representation for multiple variables e.g. aesthetics like color, and using facets or small multiples
- Using high-density representations: spark lines, bullet graphs, tree maps, geo-spatial maps etc.
Session #7: - Putting together a Data Dashboard
- Understand point of view in a dashboard: explanatory vs. exploratory
- Choose a structure for the dashboard: flow, relationships, grouping or narrative
- Map the dashboard layout: grids, white space and screen space
- Understand guiding design principles: compactness, modularity, reveal, focus & guide attention, customization, context aware, lead to action
Exercise #3: Dashboard Visualisation
Session #8: Crafting Visual Stories with Data
- Explore the principles of storytelling and narrative
- Lessons on how stories work from other mediums - oral storytelling, journalism, movies, comics and consulting
- Selection of messaging - text annotation and verbal
- Building a data-visual-story - understand framing, transitions and flow
Session #9: Animation and Interactivity
- Engagement in context - personal, presentation & participation
- Use of animation in graphical transitions
- Explore common interaction patterns: select, explore, reconfigure, encode, filter, drill-down, connect and dynamic queries
Exercise #4: Narrative or Interactive Visualisation
Session #10: - Presentations and Recap
- Additional visualisation constructs - text visualisation, networks & graphs, maps and cartography
- Presentation of Assignment #4 - Narrative or Interactive Visualisation
- Recap of the overall course
Participant Profile — The workshop is ideal for anyone who is interested in learning the art and craft of visualizing data and communicating persuasively through it. You could be working with large and complex data-sets as an analyst or using a small datasets to create simple charts and slides in your presentation as a manager. There are no pre-requisite skills, knowledge or roles necessary for attending the workshop. Only an open approach to learning through listening, observation, and participation in the workshop activities and discussion is required.
Tools Used — The workshop principles are tool-agnostic and can be applied using any visual analytics platform or graphical programming tool. However, for the ease of doing the exercises, we would be using Tableau Public during the workshop. Please download, install and build basic familiarity with the tool prior to the session.
Number of Participants — The maximum number of participants for the workshop would be capped at 30. The small class size would enable a more participative environment with group interaction and presentations possible as well as opportunities to have one-to-one learning interactions.
Duration — The workshop would be conducted over 2 days from 0900 to 1700. There will be short breaks during the morning and afternoon session and a longer lunch break of around 45 minutes in the middle.
Venue Logistics — A training venue for the workshop, with availability of a projector, sound system and whiteboard would be needed for conducting the session.
The workshop would be charged at Rs. 150,000 per day (for Indian locations) or USD 5,000 per day (for International locations). Service tax and other government charges as applicable will be additional. Also, for sessions conducted outside of Bangalore, the facilitator’s travel and accommodation cost would be charged on actuals.
Amit Kapoor is interested in learning and teaching the craft of telling visual stories with data. He is the founder partner at narrativeVIZ Consulting, where he teaches data-science, data-visualisation and data-stories as tools for improving communication, persuasion, and leadership and conducts workshops on these topics for businesses, nonprofits, and academic institutes. He also teaches visualisation as a guest faculty in design context at NID, Bangalore and in management context at IIM Bangalore & IIM Ahmedabad
His background is in strategy consulting in using data-driven stories to drive change across organizations and businesses. He has more than 15 years of management consulting experience, first with AT Kearney in India, then with Booz & Company in Europe and more recently for startups in Bangalore. He did his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT, Delhi and PGDM (MBA) from IIM, Ahmedabad. You can find more about him at amitkaps.com and tweet him at @amitkaps.