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Data Visualization

What is data visualization?

In his book The Truthful Art, visualization expert Alberto Cairo writes that a good data visualization is “reliable information, visibly encoded so relevant patterns become noticeable, organized in a way that enables at least some exploration when it’s appropriate, and presented in an attractive manner, but always remembering that honesty, clarity, and depth come first” (p. 12).

Learning Opportunities

If you’re interested in taking a class about data visualization, you can search the Course Explorer for current course offerings.

  • Savvy Researcher Series (library workshops)
    • You can search the workshop calendar by using Ctrl+F (Cmd+F on a Mac).
  • Duke Library Workshops
    • Duke records many of their library workshops and makes them available online.
  • Indiana University MOOC
    • Indiana University hosts an open online class about information visualization that you can take at your own pace.
  • Lynda courses
    • Free for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students, faculty, and staff, Lynda.com has an enormous offering of online courses.

The books below are free for anyone to read online.

  • Data Visualization for All
    • A friendly introduction to designing interactive charts and maps.
  • R for Data Science
    • How to use the R programming language to do all kinds of data science techniques, including data visualization

The library has a variety of online guides that can help you learn about data visualization and related topics.

Visualization Tools

These tools can be used on the computers in the Scholarly Commons.

There are many visualization tools that may be of interest to you, and the list below is not comprehensive. Please also note that some tools have both free and paid versions.

Other Resources

The library catalog is full of books on data visualization that you can check out, including ebooks! Many data visualization books are also available in the Scholarly Commons’ reference collection.

Below are a few blogs that post regularly about data visualization topics.