Wall St Journal article about using graphics, not text, to represent Big Data

This is a good article, but true to form the mainstream media has latched onto a technology buzz word and assumes that the dictionary definition is as deep they need to go. So to them “big data” means only “a lot of data”. Just as “cloud” is anything that doesn’t run on a desktop/laptop computer.

However, they make good points about how to show trends via a single graphic rather than in the rows and columns of spreadsheet. They mention the work by Charles Minard in 1869 showing impact of the Russian campaign on Napoleon’s troops. Yet The Journal fails to mention the excellent works of Edward Tufte, especially “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”. You can’t talk about this topic without including Tufte.



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