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1. The Seven Stages of Visualizing Data > Why Data Display Requires Planning

Why Data Display Requires Planning

Each set of data has particular display needs, and the purpose for which you’re using the data set has just as much of an effect on those needs as the data itself. There are dozens of quick tools for developing graphics in a cookie-cutter fashion in office programs, on the Web, and elsewhere, but complex data sets used for specialized applications require unique treatment. Throughout this book, we’ll discuss how the characteristics of a data set help determine what kind of visualization you’ll use.

Too Much Information

When you hear the term “information overload,” you probably know exactly what it means because it’s something you deal with daily. In Richard Saul Wurman’s book Information Anxiety (Doubleday), he describes how the New York Times on an average Sunday contains more information than a Renaissance-era person had access to in his entire lifetime.

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