Thing 20: Data visualisation


How do you make your research interesting and engaging for various audiences? How can you visualise data for academic posters? For publications? For your blog?

The tools in this Thing visualise data from publicly available datasets (e.g. demographic data) or from quantitative and qualitative data that you provide.

(Incidentally, we’re not looking at data generation in this Thing. We’ll be talking about some interesting ways to grab data in the next two Things.)

Data visualisation tools

In this Thing we’re trying something a little different.

Rather than writing about the various resources and tools that are available for data visualisation, we’re going to present the links as an “image pane” that you can explore at will. Visit some of the following sites and experiment with them. If you get stuck, most of these sites come with a Help, Support, or About link that gives the necessary details.

Google ngram

try-this-iconTry this

To complete this Thing, choose one of the tools above and write a blog post about it. Explain what the tool is, what it does, and why it might be useful!

If you’re feeling daring, try creating something with one of the tools and post it to your blog.

explore-further-iconExplore further

“The nature of these tools encourages fast prototyping, allowing students to create, assess, and revise many versions of a graphic in a short amount of time. These tools also offer the opportunity to expand visual learning and thinking into fields where visual aspects of communication are not always included.”
7 things you should know about infographic creation tools

The university has a number of site licences for software. Some of this software can help with data analysis and visualisation.
Software available for University of Auckland computers

Probably the biggest name online in data visualisation is Information is Beautiful, a collection of the most effective and attractive visualisations around:
Information is Beautiful


We didn’t adapt any other courses for this Thing.

Header image: Mario Klingemann / Flickr / CC By-NC 2.0
Icons: Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon / GNU Lesser General Public License

This post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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