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The Importance of Data Visualization in Data Literacy

Presenter 1
Janet Stamatel
University at Albany

Data visualization is an important means by which we analyze information, particularly in the current social climate where visual media are so prevalent.  Although some disciplines, such as statistics and computer science, have invested considerable resources in studying and improving data visualization techniques, social scientists have not fully embraced this trend.  This paper argues that data visualization is an important aspect of quantitative reasoning and data literacy.  It presents Edward Tufte's principles of design and illustrates how they can be applied to empirical research results using an example from criminology.  It discusses the skills and software needed to effectively implement these design principles and addresses the technical limitations of applying these techniques to typical social science analyses.

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