Wow vs. Ah-ha for data graphics

Posted to Design  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

After attending the Eyeo Festival, Zach Gemignani of Juice Analytics noticed a difference in the approach of artists and his own practices with business-related data:

The artists are looking for an emotional “wow” moment; our goal is the “ah ha” moment when a user learns something that can lead to productive action. The question that we so often ask: “what can you do about it?” wasn’t a top priority within the Eyeo crowd.

One group is telling a specific story and the other is searching for one. That’s not to say that one way or the other is bad, however. Each group can benefit from the other:

Ultimately this art vs. practice dichotomy is natural and healthy. In our work, we are inspired by the fun and energy expressed in artistic visualizations. Data visualization is a tool that can and should be used differently depending on the purpose and the audience. The skill in using the tool can be appreciated equally across these different contexts.

There’d be a lot less ruffled feathers if we could all remember that.

[Juice Analytics]

Favorites

Pizza Place Geography

Most of the major pizza chains are within a 5-mile radius of where I live, so I have my pick, …

Jobs Charted by State and Salary

Jobs and pay can vary a lot depending on where you live, based on 2013 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here’s an interactive to look.

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.

10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2015

These are my picks for the best of 2015. As usual, they could easily appear in a different order on a different day, and there are projects not on the list that were also excellent.