Data visualization is the graphical representation of information. Information technology combines the principles of visualization with powerful applications and large data sets to create sophisticated images and animations. Representing large amounts of disparate information in a visual form often allows you to see patterns that would otherwise be buried in vast, unconnected data sets. Data visualizations offer one way to harness infrastructure to find hidden trends and correlations that can lead to important discoveries. Visual literacy is an increasingly important skill, and data visualizations are another channel for students to develop their ability to process information visually.
The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.
In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About..." briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.