Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Reaction: The Value of Information Visualization

This paper’s main aim is to answer “How and why is InfoVis useful?” and it succeeds in giving enough facts to prove the same. It is divided in different sections, each of which explains how it helps in understanding a complex data. The paper also cites few theories like Information Theory, Preattentive processing theory and the Gestalt theory, which explain how and why visual data is so interactive and hence important.
Paper begins by stating the most challenging part which is proving the importance of value of Visualization followed by describing the situations and scenarios, which require the value of Visualization.
I like how the paper emphasizes on the fact that it is important for InfoVis practitioners to frequently explain what InfoVis can do that statistics and data mining cannot, followed by its justification. Other good thing about the paper is the examples that are used to prove the authenticity of the requirement, i.e. the value.
However I do not agree with the statement “InfoVis systems, on the other hand, appear to be most useful when a person simply does not know what questions to ask about the data”. Visualization according to me is for people who know what they want but are unable to infer from the huge data. Visualization helps them take the pain of going through numbers and observations. In fact, it aids to a point where one can follow what they want precisely and see through the numbers than merely look at them!
Overall the paper is very informative and detailed. It justifies the title of the paper and gives relevant information on it.