“A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures.” - Ben Shneiderman
Interactive Data Visualisation
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.
The focus in this workshop will be to provide hands on experience on using simple tools like visdown to create interactive data visualization - both for conducting exploratory data analysis for large data sets and for communicating insights from data visually. These are key objectives:
- Learn the principles of interactive data visualisation including grammar, types, color, annotation, flow, animation, interaction etc.
- To understand different approaches - static graphics, web based interactive graphics, interactive data products - for creating data visualization.
- To explore using visualization in different statistical context - exploration, modeling, and communication to gain insight from data
- To gain an experience of using simple tools like visdown - interactive for creating data visualization for exploration and communication.
The workshop would be scheduled over eight sessions 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: The Grammar of Interactive Data Visualisation
- Understand the value of visualisation - Expression (record), Exploratory (analyze) and Explanatory (communicate)
- Learn the four layers of abstraction in data visualisation
- Data Layer - data types and transformations
- Visual Layer - variable mapping, marks, channels, scales, coordinate system, layouts
- Annotation Layer - titles, axes, legends, grids, references, text
- Interaction Layer - navigation, transition, selection, highlighting, filtering, brushing & linking, sorting, animation
Session #2: Open Source Tools for Interactive Data-Vis
- Understand the tools landscape: Charting-based tools, Grammar-based tools and Canvas-based tools
- Introduction to simple tools like visdown for creating data visualisation
- Hands-on exercises for creating simple visualisations in these tools
Session #3: Visual & Annotation Layer in Data-Vis
- Visualise single & dual dimensional data
- Visualise multi-dimensional data - using aesthetics, facets, layouts
- Basics of graphical perception and critique
- Understand color, scales, typography, labeling and annotation
- Explore design of secondary graph components - trend and reference lines, scales, tick marks, grid lines, axes and legends
Session #4: Interaction layer in Data-Vis
- Learn the principles of reactive programming
- Allowing interactive data-model manipulation [using vega]
- Explore common interaction patterns: select, explore, reconfigure, encode, filter, drill-down, connect and dynamic queries
Assignment: Create Interactive Visualisation on Public Data
Session #5: Crafting Interactive Data-Vis
- Adding interaction using visdown - interactive
- Build a full interactive data visualisation example using Visdown
Session #6: 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
Session #7: Advanced Session
- Creating a static dashboard webpage
- Linking interactive dashboard with server site data
- Using high-density representations like spark lines and geo-spatial mapping
Session #8: Presentations and Recap
- Additional concepts in interaction: scrolling, animation, story points
- Presentation and discussion on assignment
- Recap of the overall course
- Professional working with data (at least using Excel at a minimum) and wants to pick skills to move from static charts to interactive data dashboards
- Programmers interested in learning the principles of data-vis and how to add interactive data-vis and dashboard quickly to their skill sets.
- Communication professionals, Journalists, and others involved in telling stories with data and want to learn about interactive data-vis.
- Participant need to know how Markdown works. If you don’t know, don’t worry. Markdown is extremely simple. Please take this short 10 minute tutorial - Markdown Tutorial and you should be fine.
- No prior experience in creating interactive data visualisation is expected to attend the workshop. Some experience in creating static charts and graphs in Excel or Powerpoint would be good enough.
We will largely be using visdown for the workshop which runs on the web. And a standalone version would be shared ahead of the workshop. Each participants should bring along a laptop with following software installed -
- A modern browser, preferably Google Chrome
- MS Excel or Google Sheets (Please create a free google account)
- Notepad++ (for Windows Machine)
Additional instructions would be shared closer to the workshop.
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.