PM8: Pattern Spotting: Seeing the Real Meaning in Data Visualizations
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  Dave Wells   Dave Wells
Sr. Research Consultant
Eckerson Group


Monday, April 3, 2017
01:30 PM - 04:45 PM

Level:  Business/Strategic

Data visualization is an important part of analytics. Analytics effectiveness and impact depends on visualization skills of two kinds - the ability to create visuals and the ability to understand visuals. The real value of visualization does not come from creating visuals but from understanding what they can tell you. With the language of words, we learn reading and writing as separate but related skills. Similarly, with visual language we need to learn understanding (reading) and creating (writing) as distinct but related skills. There are many books, courses, and other resources that teach people how to develop data visualizations but few that teach how to read and understand them. This presentation aims to fill that gap by teaching the core capabilities of understanding and interpreting data visualizations.

Topics include:

  • Ten key concepts of data visualization
  • The most important things to look for when reading visualizations
  • How to do a “quick read” of data visualizations
  • How to do a “critical read” of data visualizations
  • How to see trends, patterns, and outliers in the visual presentation of data
  • How to see ambiguity, distortion, and bias in the visual presentation of data

Dave Wells is an advisory consultant, educator, and research analyst dedicated to building meaningful connections throughout the path from data to business impact. He works at the intersection of information and business, driving value through BI, analytics, and innovation. More than 40 years of information management experience combined with over 10 years of business management create a unique perspective about the connections among business, information, data, and technology. Knowledge sharing and skills building are Dave's passions, carried out through consulting, speaking, teaching, research, and writing. He is a continuous learner – fascinated with understanding how we think – and a student and practitioner of systems thinking, critical thinking, design thinking, divergent thinking, and innovation. Dave fills many roles including independent consultant, instructor and Education Director at eLearningCurve, Research Consultant at Eckerson Group, and TDWI faculty member.

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