Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
December 1–3, 2015 • Singapore

Visualising multi-dimensional data

Amit Kapoor (narrativeVIZ)
4:00pm–4:40pm Thursday, 12/03/2015
Design, User Experience, Visualization
Location: 334-335 Level: Intermediate
Tags: featured
Average rating: ****.
(4.70, 10 ratings)
Slides:   1-PDF 

Prerequisite Knowledge

The session would be valuable for data scientists and data analysts involved in conducting exploratory data analysis (EDA) with large multi-dimensional datasets. Exposure and prior experience with EDA in any data tools like Excel, Tableau, R, or Python would be helpful.


Even though exploring data visually is an integral part of the data analytics pipeline, we struggle to visually explore data once the number of dimensions goes beyond three. This talk will focus on showcasing techniques to visually explore multidimensional data (p > 3). The aim is to show examples of each of the following techniques, potentially using one exemplar dataset.

Standard 2D/3D approaches

  • Aesthetics e.g. color, size, shape
  • Small multiples e.g. trellis/facets
  • Matrix views e.g. SPLOMs
  • 3D scatterplot

Geometric transformation approaches

  • Alternate coordinates e.g. parallel, star
  • Projections e.g. dimensionality reduction
  • Tablelens

Glyph-based approaches

  • Star glyphs
  • Stick figures

Pixel-based approaches

  • Pixel bar charts
  • Space-filling curves

Stacked-based approaches

  • Dimensional stacking
  • Hierarchical axis
  • Treemaps

The talk will also explore the role of interaction approaches to enhance our ability to visually explore the multidimensional data.

Interactive Approaches

  • Navigation – pan, zoom, scale, rotate
  • Selection and annotation
  • Filtering – highlighting, brushing, and linking
  • Layering
  • Dynamic queries
Photo of Amit Kapoor

Amit Kapoor


Amit Kapoor is a data storyteller at narrativeViz, where he uses storytelling and data visualization as tools for improving communication, persuasion, and leadership through workshops and trainings conducted for corporations, nonprofits, colleges, and individuals. Interested in learning and teaching the craft of telling visual stories with data, Amit also teaches storytelling with data for executive courses as a guest faculty member at IIM Bangalore and IIM Ahmedabad. Amit’s background is in strategy consulting, using data-driven stories to drive change across organizations and businesses. Previously, he gained more than 12 years of management consulting experience with A.T. Kearney in India, Booz & Company in Europe, and startups in Bangalore. Amit holds a BTech in mechanical engineering from IIT, Delhi, and a PGDM (MBA) from IIM, Ahmedabad.