Archive for March, 2013

Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization course

March 24, 2013

In the last few months, I’ve followed an online class called “Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization” by Alberto Cairo  (Twitter: @acairo) at the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.

It was the second edition of the course and I would recommend you to join a future edition if you are interested in the topic. It was mostly targeted for journalists, so there was a lot of content about infographics and lots of examples are visualizations we see in magazines. However, lots of those concepts can still be applied in IT world and there was some good reading provided about designing dashboards. There are lots of examples to explain why some types of data visualization (pie charts, bubble chart on a map) rarely make any sense for the readers. In any way, it was a great introduction to the topic of data visualization. I wasn’t new to the topic because of my experience with Endeca dashboards and Salesforce dashboards but it’s great to leave the technical aspect of those visualizations and focus on what data visualization can actually mean for to the users.

The class didn’t provide training on technical tools, it was really more about learning about the theory behind the topic. The class provided a trial license for Tableau, which is a nice touch, but I haven’t spent time learning on that.

I was initially planning to do all the homeworks related to the course and apply for an official course certificate at the end of the class. However, I quickly fell behind on the weekly schedule they were proposing and did not have enough time to do all that. So I really only focused on learning on the topic based on the content they provide (youtube videos + PDF reading) and did not do any homework. It really reminded me how I do not miss university!

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