The Art of Data Visualization

Date / Time:
Tuesday, Sep 13 4:20pm to 4:50pm
Track / Session:
Public Information and Outreach / Inspirational Engagement
Short Description: 
Think like an artist and improve the accessibility, impact, reach and retention of critical data through the use of artistic visualization thus improving public outreach goals and programs.

Studies have found that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, that 65% of the population are visual learners, and that people following directions with text and illustrations do three times better than without illustrations. The use of infographics and other visual aides to portray complex data is thus crucial for best reaching your audience.

This presentation will stress how the art of data visualization can greatly improve the accessibility of the rich water data we collect. It will explain how an engaging aesthetic, compelling color palettes, and deliberate simplicity increases the spread of awareness past the boundaries of the stormwater community. It will also portray how emotional impact benefits community outreach programs, and increases awareness to those who are not currently engaged in the stormwater community.

This presentation will discuss the importance of thinking like an artist in order to improve the accessibility, impact, reach and retention of critical data through the use of artistic visualization. It will look at how these improvements directly influence the effectiveness of public outreach goals.

Achieving an artistically sound visualization of data is easier than one might think. Artists harness basic yet powerful elements to create their works, such as line, shape/form, color, value, texture, and space/perspective, in combination with the principles pattern, rhythm/movement, proportion/scale, balance, unity, and emphasis. The use of these elements and principles enable an engaging and compelling way to communicate data.

This session will examine the elements and principles of art and how to use them while working with a wide range of different types of data visualization resources and softwares. After this session, the audience will have all they need to quickly create engaging visualizations with ease out of all sorts of data.

Tools to create artistic data visualizations:

- Tableau
- Canva, Venngage, and other related free graphic user interfaces for creating infographics
- Illustrator and infographic ui packages
- Chart.js and D3.js

In order to engage the audience, this presentation will compare and contrast the differences of successful and unsuccessful artistic data visualizations. It will also include hands-on demos of the various tools and processes discussed, including an extended demo improving an unsuccessful infographic.

In conclusion, the content of this session will explain the art of data visualization and how important it is to the success of stormwater outreach programs.This approach will ultimately improve accessibility, and emotional impact through the use of powerful tools and artistic methodologies thus increasing reach and retention of stormwater data.

Primary Speaker:
Dane Atkins, CloudCompli, Inc.
Supporting Speaker 1:
Amanda Iaali, County of Orange