Data visualization? Say what? Well, let us explain. Data visualization is the visual representation of data. Bar graphs, pie charts, tables, that sort of things. But data visualization is a lot more than this. First, let us understand how data visualization came into existence. Back in the day data was represented through numbers in paragraphic form, which was extremely boring to look at, let alone reading it. That is when data scientists and designers came together to find a solution to represent data in a better and interesting way. Our brains are more inclined towards visuals (drawings, paintings, sketches), thus it was decided, data will be represented with lines and circles, and of course with some colour added. But that is not the only reason data is represented visually, another reason is readability. For example- a company does a survey to find out which gender buys their product more, if this data is represented in an excel sheet, it is hard to read, but if the same data is represented with a pie chart, it is easy to read. But as time passed, things changed.
As time passed, the population on earth increased, and with that increased data. With so much data in hand, these cannot be represented through the earlier modes of representation, which are bars, graphs, tables. To represent these huge number of data new modes of representation was required. This gave rise to a new discipline, Information design. Information design is a cross between graphic design and data visualization. An example of information design is a blood report, it represents a graphic of our blood cells and along with that gives us necessary information about our blood. Information design’s goal is to represent simple as well as complex data in a way it is understandable to every individual. Data once visually represented becomes information. With data becoming the most valuable asset on Earth, the importance of information design is at an all-time high.
A company like Facebook, which mainly deals with data, knows how important information design is to them. Facebook has access to millions of (user’s) data, but this data is of no use until this data is transformed into information, that’s when information design steps in and transforms data into information. What Facebook does with this information is completely different scenario. Every company deals with data at some level, and these data is transformed into information and based on this information a company makes strategies. Take a company like Google, every other company in the world depends on this company for information. The amount of data this company has in it’s database is enormous, and this data is transformed into information within seconds. How this is done? With the help of custom build algorithm. Same goes for Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and many other giants in the business. Data can also be turned into art. This is where Accurat comes in.
Accurat is a data-driven, design and research innovation firm. They produce art and digital experiences all with the help of data, in addition to that they develop software and algorithm which generate information with the help of data. Accurat’s goal is to make data look like art and also convey information.
Information design and data visualization is as important as marketing for a company in today’s time. Data being the most valuable asset, it is important that this asset is used carefully to full effect. Data is being used as a modern day weapon, for good and bad. The job of an information designer is almost as important as that of a soldier. Data is beng used like it has never been used, what we do with this data, will eventually shape our future.