In The Trend Point, we have seen visualization and end user output presentation become a topic of prevalence recently.
Some sources report that visualization tools are still in the early phases of evolution. According to the article referenced in “From Raw Data to Informed Visualization“:
I would say that it is all very contingent. As we know, there are good visuals and there are bad visuals, and we’ve all seen a lot of bad visuals in PowerPoint, for example. Edward Tufte has made a pretty good living demonstrating there are really bad approaches to visuals that often occur in PowerPoints. I think we are probably a lot farther along in the world of narrative — we’ve been doing that for thousands of years — than we are in visual displays of information. I think we are really just finding our way now.
One article, “Data and Graphics Matched Through Search and Visualization,” suggested that not all data needs to be visualized, Jim Stikeleather of the Havard Business Review shares that in the end, the concept of translating the minutia of data points into something that is both interpretable and relevant is most important:
Ultimately, data visualization is about communicating an idea that will drive action. Understanding the criteria for information to provide valuable insights and the reasoning behind constructing data visualizations will help you do that with efficiency and impact.
Another article posits that visualization is the natural best method to present data. The source pointed to in “Visualization Must Be Included in Search and Analytics” tells us:
One of the best ways to get your message across is to use a visualization to quickly draw attention to the key messages, and by presenting data visually it’s also possible to uncover surprising patterns and observations that wouldn’t be apparent from looking at stats alone … By visualizing information, we turn it into a landscape that you can explore with your eyes, a sort of information map. And when you’re lost in information, an information map is kind of useful.
Is data visualization not the same as simply developing and idea and sharing it in an accessible way? A new name for the basics of creating and presenting information is fine. However, as far as Sinequa‘s technology goes, it provides a much easier and more intuitive user experience for delivering real time and agile information and insights to users. It does not deliver the one picture that will hit you between the eyes and make you act near-automatically (why would we need a human to provide that reaction?). The interaction paradigm is that of “ping-pong between human and search engine. There is no need to involve complex business intelligence codes. Innovative enterprise search is the core that facilitates this kind of representation through a graphical interface.
Jane Smith, April 24, 2012