“A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures.”—Ben Shneiderman
Ever-increasing computational capacity has enabled us to acquire, process, and analyze larger and larger datasets and information. However, the human memory and attention required to use this data is limited and has remained relatively constant. Data visualization can enable us to compress data and encode it in ways that aid perceptual, cognitive, and emotional capacity required to comprehend, retain, and make decisions using this data.
One of the challenges in traditional data visualization is that they are static and have bounds on limited physical/pixel space. Interactive visualizations allows us to move beyond this limitation by adding layers of interactions. We’ve all seen wonderful interactive data visualizations on the web, such as those from the New York Times’s Upshot or FiveThirtyEight, and may want to bring similar interaction principles to our business dashboards. But crafting an interactive data visualization on the web is hard, especially if you have limited web programming background. More often than not, data scientists want to demonstrate or showcase their work as a dashboard and are required to get approval from stakeholders before the dashboard is moved to production by frontend engineers.
Bargava Subramanian and Amit Kapoor teach the art and science of creating interactive data visualizations, providing hands-on experience with using simple tools in the browser, including visdown and polestar, to conduct exploratory data analysis for large datasets and visually communicate insights from data.
Grammar of interactive graphics: The four layers of abstraction
Creating a static visualization
Adding an interaction layer
Creating an interactive data visualization
Additional pointers, wrap-up, and Q&A
Bargava Subramanian is a cofounder and deep learning engineer at Binaize in Bangalore, India. He has 15 years’ experience delivering business analytics and machine learning solutions to B2B companies. He mentors organizations in their data science journey. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park. He’s an ardent NBA fan.
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.
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