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Data Visualization

UN Statistics Day Handout

Our Collection

Edward R. Tufte has created important books about data visuaization.  We have several books here in the library including The visual display of quantitative information, Envisioning information, Visual explanations : images and quantities, evidence and narrative, Beautiful evidence

Getting Started

What is data visualization? Data visualization is the presentation of data in a pictorial or graphical format.  Think maps or infographics.  Many steps past PowerPoint integrating rules of mathematics and psychology for stronger data analysis and interpretation..

How does this differ from statistics?  Statistics are tables or reports you may find in an article or online.  They provide an interpretation of data, but data visualization takes you a step beyond.  It allows you to display information in a graphical format.

So then what is data?  View data as the raw material for your research.  You may create original data in a survey or view data online about topics ranging from the US Census, literacy rates or global heal

How can this help my research as a student?  You can set yourself apart from your peers by generating an interesting infographic or map.  For example, you may have heard of GIS (Geographic Information Systems).  These systems and those listed below let us question, analyze, and interpret data to understand relationships, patterns, and trends.  You can add an electronic module to a research paper or a thesis.  This can be a conversation starter for a graduate school or job application.  There may be a digital storytelling opportunity in your dissertation.

How will this help after Seton Hall?  Analyzing a data set in any field, a government policy or part of an economic crisis is a life skill.  In addition to good writing and citing habits, being able to interpret and articulate trends and relationships about a subject will help you succeed whether you become a teacher, a PhD student or a stockbroker.   Let us help you now!


  • - a great compilation of free data visualization tools.
  • Ploty - online graphing and stats tool that can be integrated with Excel, as a web app or integrated with Python and R.
  • is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data
  • Raw is a simple open web app for creating visualizations using D3.js
  • Tableau helps you create and share interactive charts and graphs, maps, and dashboards.
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