Why does it seem I have to look hard to find good data visualization examples? Why do few tech companies devote resources to visualization (Google’s the obvious exception)? Why are there relatively few job postings for visualization, with many of those there are requiring mainly graphic design skills and not data visualization skills? I was thinking about this today and I came up with a few possible reasons, some based on perceptions, and others based on marketplace realities.
Reason #1: People Don’t Know What Data Visualization Is
People don’t know what data visualization is. Don’t believe me? Read the Amazon.com reviews for the book Data Visualization by Ben Fry. They contain negative comments such as “One would expect a book with the title ‘Visualizing Data’ to be crammed with pictures”. The issue seems be that too much of the book is devoted to data and the mapping of data properties to visual properties.