2015 Data Visualization Year in Review

Everyone always gets really excited looking forward to the new year. And we get it: it’s a brand new year full of possibilities, a clean slate to work from.

But we get sentimental around the VisualCue offices and at times like this we love to look back at some of our favorite memories from the past year.

And, same as ever, those memories include our favorite data visualizations from around the Internet. Added bonus- they all have something in common.

Here they are: VisualCue’s top 5 picks for best data visualizations in 2015!

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Interview with Aashish Gandhi

As 2015 comes to close, the VisualCrew thought it would be a great opportunity to taking this opportunity to turn our sights towards the horizon and take a look at some of the exciting new innovations coming to VisualCue.

To tell us about these new features we spoke with Aashish Gandhi, our very own development wizard, who told us about what he is most looking forward to in VisualCue for the new year.

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Elf Performance Profiles

VisualCue was built on the belief that anyone, regardless of their training or experience, should be able to use data to its fullest potential. It’s called data transparency, and it informs everything we do as an organization.

And when we say anyone, we mean it.

This holiday season we thought that if anyone can gain actionable insights from VisualCue, why not arguably the busiest demographic in the world at this time of year?

Santa, if you’re reading this we hope you’ll take these performance profiles on three of your elves and use it to improve your operation. Our Christmas gift to you!

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Discussion with Tom Villani

We believe that one of the most important elements in any effective data visualization is transparency- the ability to effectively communicate the actionable intelligence in a data set to everyone who interacts with the visualization, not just those trained in advanced data analysis techniques.

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Data Visualization from a galaxy far, far away...

In case you hadn’t noticed, a movie is coming out today and it seems like the entire world is getting excited about it- which is fine with us, it’s about time that everyone out there realized just how amazing the Star Wars universe really is. So naturally, we wanted to join in the celebration of our favorite sci-fi franchise.

And how does VisualCue celebrate anything? With data visualizations, of course!

Armed with these data visualizations you should be ready to tackle any trivia question while you’re waiting for the movie to start.

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Telling Data Stories

This week, the VisualCrew had the opportunity to speak to one of the industry’s most ardent supporters of the data storytelling movement, Ted Cuzzillo.

In July of this year he wrote a compelling article about the current state of data storytelling, in which he states “Fine, we agree that data storytelling is a good thing. But we still have scant observation of the actual practice of data storytelling – hard, direct evidence of what has worked, what hasn’t… I don’t even see consensus yet on what a data story is.”

What makes Cuzzillo interesting is that he, unlike most writers, is not content to stop at merely noticing the problem. He asks those of us in the world of data, business intelligence and visualization a few questions to get the ball rolling. His first question we found to be the most important because from it spring the rest: “What is the definition of ‘data story?’ How is data storytelling different from traditional storytelling?”

Well, we’ve got some thoughts on that.

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Simply Beautiful

Allow us to give you an insight into a VisualCue’s data visualization philosophy, perhaps you’ve heard it before: KISS.

Since its heyday in the early 70s there have been many variations what KISS means- everything from “keep it simple, silly” to “keep it small and simple” but the theme remains the same: overcomplicating things helps no one and often times the best designs, in any field, are the simplest.

In the spirit of KISS philosophy we present our favorite data visualization of the week!

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The Future of DataViz- Augmented Reality

A few weeks ago a couple of small cardboard boxes found their way in to the VisualCue offices. We work in an open, bullpen style environment so naturally when one of us figured out what the cardboard boxes were for we naturally all wanted to try it.

Turns out it was a very simple virtual reality device using your average smartphone and some simple lenses to transport the viewer to various places around the world (and solar system- visiting Mars was amazing.)

But it sparked a new wave of discussion around the office regarding our own development and progress in bringing data visualization to life with these nascent technologies, so we thought we’d share them with you.
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Have Data, Will Travel

If you’ve browsed around the blog at all, you’ll soon realize that we here at VisualCue love data visualizations. We love talking about them, thinking about them, and we especially love sharing our favorites with you on Fridays!

This Friday, we’re thinking about time travel. Not time travel in the traditional, science-fiction sense but rather traveling through time by means of data visualization. With the right information and the right visualization you can peek into the past in ways you never thought imaginable.

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Let the music play... in space

You know that at VisualCue we love all things data visualization- and on Fridays we celebrate our unabashed enthusiasm for all things data visualization by finding the best, most interesting uses of data from around the Internet and sharing them with you!

This Friday we’re thinking about traveling through time with data! One of our favorite experiments is one of the most engaging, musical data visualizations around, and something that will fast become our favorite radio station: lightyear.fm

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