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The Mayor of London The London Assembly

McCandless shows the power of intelligent visualisation

David McCandless – driving force behind the Information is Beautiful site, gives an inspiring and thought provoking presentation on how intelligent, well designed data visualisations can help us understand the ever increasing information deluge.
Moving quickly through discussions of current affairs topics such as American defence spending versus African debt, to more frivolous endeavours (looking at how Facebook status’s can be used to analyse likely peaks in relationship difficulties) McCandless is able to demonstrate the benefits of effective visualisation, but also the importance of thoughtful design and the amalgamation of multiple data sources.
As he is quick to point out, there is perhaps little to be gleaned from illustrating American defence spending as an absolute number but plenty to consider when expressing it has a proportion of national GDP, which sees the US replaced by Myanmar at the top of the rankings. The skill lies in spotting these relationships and bringing them to life through clear and coherent designs.
This is an excellent presentation for anyone seeking to understand how best to use visualisation techniques to better understand the wealth of information at their fingertips.
David McCandless also writes for the Guardian Datablog.