Week 4, Day 3
Theme: Data Visualisation
This week's theme is data visualisation, or perhaps more accurately, transforming data into insight.
READ Today's task: MagicInk 2.8Mb
Key takeout: This tour de force introduces a “unified theory” of information graphic (user interface) design. The author argues that information software design should be seen as the design of context-sensitive information graphics. A warning: this paper may be heavy going for some as it is a tightly woven ball of original thought and has been very carefully constructed to present a complex new theory. A theory that has ramifications for the design (purpose?) of all analytic software. To call it thought provoking is an understatement. In a nutshell the theory states that:
1. Graphic design (user interface) is of paramount importance because you are asking for software to display a complex set of data in a way that you can understand the data and reason about what it means.
2. Context-sensitivity is of value because software breaks out of the confines of print and can uniquely:
• "infer the context in which its data is needed,
• winnow the data to exclude the irrelevant, and
• generate a graphic which directly addresses the present needs".
3. Interactivity - should be minimised as information software "mimics the experience of reading, not working. It is used for achieving an understanding—constructing a model within the mind. Thus, the user must listen to the software and think about what it says… but any manipulation happens mentally".
The MBAnalytics is just one part of the Business Intelligence CORTEX - a community of Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing, Analytics and Project Management professionals in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Membership is free and the forums are very active with over 20,000 posts offering a uniquely Australasian viewpoint.