Data Visualization

Data visualization provides a means of graphically displaying information to effectively communicate ideas, illustrate emergent patterns, or tell a story.

Humans have used graphical representations of data for hundreds of years, and numerous software packages are available for you to make meaningful visualizations to tell your data story.

Resources

Events

  • R: the Tuesday morning R sessions provide a place where you can learn data visualization skills or troubleshoot challenges you might face with the R programming lesson.
  • Geospatial data: are you interested in visualizing data in a geographic context? Check out the Libraries' geospatial data and GIS resources for upcoming opportunities and resources.

Software

Data visualization software provides a means of transforming raw data to meaningful images.

  • Tableau is a full-feature program useful for creating dashboards and crisp visualizations. It provides a graphical user interface to interact with several powerful features. Computers with Tableau installed are available in the Main Library and the Weaver Science-Engineering Library.
  • The R programming language is a great means of creating reproducible data visualizations.
  • Python, a scripting language similar to R, also has a variety of data visualization packages
    • The matplotlib library provides a suite of tools for creating static, animated, and interactive data visualizations.
    • seaborn uses the matplotlib library, but provides an enhanced interface for rich data visualization.
    • If you want to create interactive web visualizations in Python, check out the plot.ly package.

Post-processing software allows enhancements and makes graphic design easier.

  • Inkscape is free, open-source vector graphics program akin to Adobe Illustrator.
  • GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is also free, open-source raster graphics program like Adobe Photoshop.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud includes multiple programs for creating and modifying images.