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Opinions expressed on this blog reflect the writer’s views and not the position of the Capgemini Group

Data Visualisation - a selection of my favourites Jan 2015

Category : Data Visualisation
As an analyst, I find a certain satisfaction when I see data presented in such a way as to challenge commonly held views. There’s something compelling, for me, at least, in being reminded of the ease with which we can draw mistaken conclusions by looking only at the most easily available information and neglecting to view the whole picture. An example of this in our Big Data era is the tendency to carry out online surveys and then extrapolate the results to cover all consumers, even though those consumers without internet access are often representative of consumers with quite different needs and wants.
Anyway, the first two articles I’ve chosen this month challenged my own misconceptions, the third focuses on aspects of visual images which interested me because I’d never viewed them in the suggested ways before and the fourth is a creative way of displaying everyday activities with colour and light.

Aircraft incidents

In 2014, as I’m sure we all remember, there were a large number of high profile aeroplane disasters. There were a couple of weeks in early summer where I was sure that there could never have been a worse year for tragedies in the air. The Guardian datablog has done a great job of dispelling that myth, though. Although the number of fatalities per incident was higher last year than ever in the past 30 years, there is a continuing decreasing trend of aircraft accidents.

Where we live

My next selection is a fascinating game (have some time available to play), showing how a tiny reluctance to live in a neighbourhood without anyone similar to you can result in segregated communities. This website displays versions of an algorithm which allows you to change people’s desires to live with people like them and see how even a very small bias towards the familiar can impact whole neighbourhoods.

Hidden messages

The third article I’ve selected this month shows how much attention companies pay to their visual image. I’ve seen most of these company logos before and never noticed many of the hidden messages contained within them. For example, there’s an arrow from the A to the Z in the Amazon logo, intended to illustrate the variety of products which they sell.

Motion Exposure

This is a website showing the results of using LED lights and long exposure photography to create light trails showing the actual paths of motion for various sports activities. It’s beautiful ……

About the author

Cathy Buchanan
Cathy Buchanan
Working in Operational Research for over ten years, as a consultant my goal is to help clients understand the value that data brings to their organisations. Before consultancy, I spent 5 years working in call centre design and am now very interested in promoting “the contact centre of the future”, utilising & combining multiple customer channels efficiently. My areas of specialisation are Optimisation, Simulation and Data Visualisation.

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