I just feel the need to repeat this. It encourages.

“One significant difficulty with such problems is knowing, given a set of data, how to glean meaningful information from it. To most, the process is entirely opaque. Fields such as statistics, data mining, graphic design, and information visualization each offer components of the solution, but practitioners of each are often unaware of, or unskilled in, the methods of the adjacent fields required for a solution.

Visual design—the field of mapping data to visual form—aids under- standing, but typically does not address how to handle extremely large amounts of data.

Data mining techniques can handle large amounts of data, but are disconnected from the means to interact with them. Soft-ware-based information visualization adds building blocks for interact-ing with and representing various kinds of abstract data, but typically the aesthetic principles of visual design are treated as less important or even superfi cial, rather than embracing their strength as a necessary aid to effective communication. For someone approaching a data representation problem (such as a scientist trying to visualize the results of a study involving a few thousand pieces of genetic data), they will often find it difficult to know where to begin (what tools to use or books to read are frequent questions). Similarly, it is difficult for the same person to critically evaluate the representation used, lacking the necessary background. In order to properly address the issue of complex data visualization, several fields need to be reconciled as parts of a single process.

By combining the necessary skills into a single, clearly documented field, they are made more accessible to those with some partial set of them— graphic designers can learn the computer science necessary for visualization, or statisticians can communicate their data more effectively by understanding the visual design principles behind data representation. The methods themselves are not new, but their isolation to individual fields has prevented them from being used as a whole, since it is rare for someone to obtain the requisite background in each.” Ben Fry

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