Data Visualization Process

In his 2007 book Visualizing Data, Ben Fry breaks down the data visualization process into 7 common steps:

  1. Acquire: Obtain the data, whether from a file on a disk or a source over a network.
  2. Parse: Provide some structure for the data’s meaning, and order it into categories.
  3. Filter: Remove all but the data of interest.
  4. Mine: Apply methods from statistics or data mining as a way to discern patterns or place the data in mathematical context.
  5. Represent: Choose a basic visual model, and draw the data.
  6. Refine: Improve the basic representation to make it clearer, more meaningful,  and more visually engaging.
  7. Interact: Add methods for manipulating the data or controlling what features are visible.

However, this is not a linear process. It is iterative.

More on Ben Fry here

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