Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking

The shape of a dataset is hugely important to how well it can be handled by different software. The shape defines how it is laid out: wide as in a spreadsheet, or long as in a database table. Each has its use, but it’s important to understand their differences and when each is the right choice. Continue reading Spreadsheet Thinking vs. Database Thinking

The Personified User Interface Trap

Personified user interfaces, like chat bots or agents, are the new thing once again. But despite advances in artificial intelligence, they still have many issues and drawbacks compared to direct-manipulation interfaces. There was a debate around these interfaces in the 1990s, and it seems to be bound to repeat itself. Continue reading The Personified User Interface Trap

Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism

The history of data journalism goes back much farther than most people assume. Long before computers or punch cards, and before even the first newspapers the way we know them today, data was being published. ProPublica’s Scott Klein has been digging up a lot of interesting history. Continue reading Links: Scott Klein on the History of Data Journalism

Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!

Late last year, Tamara Munzner started a blog, called Vis & More. So far, she mostly writes in response to Stephen Few’s postings late last year about some recent visualization papers. Her style is quite academic (most of her posting titles start with “On”…), but very readable and she has lots of interesting things to say. Continue reading Link: Tamara Munzner Has A Blog!

Paper: Presentation-Oriented Visualization Techniques

Presentation is often considered a part of visualization, but what does that mean for the kinds of techniques we use? Are they the same as used for analysis? What criteria should we use to pick them? In a new paper, I discuss a class of techniques I call presentation-only.

Continue reading Paper: Presentation-Oriented Visualization Techniques