|It is truthful||The data represented in the visualization is based on honest and thorough research.|
|It is functional||The visualization expresses a true depiction of the data and allows people to absorb the information from the visualization in meaningful ways.|
|It is beautiful||The visualization is visually pleasing and represents the data in an intriguing way.|
|It is insightful||The visualization shows evidence or information about the data in a way that was not expressed before.|
|It is enlightening||The visualization is enlightening if it follows the first five components and the audience of the information is able to grasp and understand the message of the visualization.|
In his book, The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication, by Alberto Cairo explains that, "the process of visually exploring data can be summarized in a single sentence: find patterns and trends lurking in the data and then observe the deviations from those patterns" (152). In other words, before you start the visualization process, you want to know your data inside and out. It is important to be able to organize your data with clarity before you visualize it. This will help your audience understand the message you are trying to send.
In his book, The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication, Alberto Cairo gives specific tips for choosing a graph to visually represent your data. When trying to choose a type of visualization for your data it is important to remember that it is a process and that is okay. There are no rules for how you should choose a visualization and no one says that you can only use one. Experiment with visualizations and see which works best for you!
Taken from, The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication by Alberto Cairo, pgs.124-125.
Data Management Librarian
Head, Scholarly Communications
Herman B. Wells Library E363
Visual Literacy and Resources Librarian
Herman B. Wells Library W119 Office Suite (119D office)