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Data Visualization for Effective Communication by Dr Kavitha Ranganathan, Faculty, Information Systems, IIM Ahmedabad.
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Data Visualization for Effective Communication
Data visualization is increasingly seen as an effective tool to both make sense of data and to communicate insights gleaned from this data to your audience. Data visualizations (commonly called charts or graphs) work at an intuitive level and have the ability to take a bunch of seemingly meaningless numbers and convert them into a meaningful insight. This in essence is the power of a good graph. A visualization’s ability to convey an insight from a collection of numbers is far greater than say a corresponding table of numbers, and is universal in its appeal. This to a large extent explains why charts and graphs can be found in use in a variety of contexts and scenarios today.
However, data visualization is only a tool. The transition from plain numbers to a visual form carries with it ample scope to “massage” the data to convey one’s intended message. We will look at types of misleading data visualizations that are in common use, understand why they are misleading and examine the correct ways to present the same data. Understanding the art and science behind effective data visualization means being able to communicate the message in your data, in a clear, intuitive and accurate manner.
About the Speaker
Kavitha Ranganathan is a faculty in the Information Systems Area at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad ( IIM-A ). She holds a Masters in Information Systems from BITS-Pilani and a Masters and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Chicago. Kavitha has been teaching Data Visualization courses to MBA and doctoral students, analytics professionals and in a wide range of corporate training programs, for more than a decade now. She draws from this vast and rich experience for her book , which captures the main principles for avoiding misleading graphs and creating effective and intuitive visualizations. Kavitha lives in Ahmedabad with her husband, their two kids and Coco, the youngest furry canine addition to the family. Whenever she gets a free moment, Kavitha can be found walking around the IIMA campus, admiring the many species of trees and birds in this gorgeously green oasis.