Thinking about visualizations

Great piece on selecting appropriate visualizations from the HBR.

First need to consider the aim of the visualization on two axes. Is the information conceptual (with a focus on ideas and an aim to simplify or teach) or data driven (with a focus on statistics and an aim to inform or enlighten)? And do you intend to declare (with a focus on documenting or designing and an aim to affirm) something or explore (with a focus on prototyping or interacting and an aim to confirm and discover) something?

From this it is then possible to define four types of visualizations:

  1. Idea illustration (conceptual and data-driven)
  2. Idea generation (conceptual and exploratory)
  3. Visual discovery (exploratory and data-driven)
  4. Everyday dataviz (declarative and data-driven)

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