There has been quite a bit written about data visualization, a topic important to evaluators who want their findings used. Michael Patton talks about evaluation use in his 4th edition of utilization-focused evaluation. He doesn’t however list data visualization in the index; so he may talk about it somewhere–it isn’t obvious.
The current issue of New Directions for Evaluation is devoted to data visualization and it is the first part (implying, I hope, for at least a part 2). Tarek Azzam and Stephanie Evergreen are the guest editors. This volume (the first on this topic in 15 years) sets the stage (chapter 1) and talks about quantitative data visualization and quantitative data visualization. The last chapter talks about the tools that are available to the evaluator and there are many and they are various. I cannot do them justice in this space; read about them in the NDE volume. (If you are an AEA member, the volume is available on line.)
freshspectrum, a blog by Chris Lysy, talks about INTERACTIVE data visualization with illustrations.
Stephanie Evergreen, the co-guest editor of the above NDE, also blogs and in her October 2 post, talks about “Design for Federal Proposals (aka Design in a Black & White Environment)”. More on data visualization.
The data visualizer that made the largest impact on me was Hans Rosling in his TED talks. Certainly the software he uses makes the images engaging. If he didn’t understand his data the way he does, he wouldn’t be able to do what he does.
Data visualization is everywhere. There will be multiple sessions at the AEA conference next week. If you can, check them out–get there early as they will fill quickly.