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Data visualization for business

Slides of the course on big data by Clement Levallois from EMLYON Business School.
For business students. Check the online video connected with these slides.
-> How is data visualization relevant for business. List of tools and resources to advance a dataviz project for small and big companies.

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Data visualization for business

  1. 1. MK99 – Big Data 1 Big data & cross-platform analytics MOOC lectures Pr. Clement Levallois
  2. 2. MK99 – Big Data 2 Data visualization Data Visualization
  3. 3. MK99 – Big Data 3 “The ability to collect, store, and manage data is increasing quickly, but our ability to understand it remains constant.” Ben Fry Co-creator or Processing and Principal at Fathom The problem to be solved
  4. 4. MK99 – Big Data 4 “The picture-examining eye is the best finder we have of the wholly unanticipated.” “ [Exploratory Data Analysis] is an approach to analyzing datasets to summarize their main characteristics in easy-to-understand form, often with visual graphs, without using a statistical model or having formulated a hypothesis” Data visualization: inspired by John Tukey’s “Exploratory Data Analysis” Tukey et al., 1983
  5. 5. MK99 – Big Data 5 Dataviz draws from different communities Information visualization / Human Computer Interaction how do humans interact with the technology? Cartography focus on Geographical Information Systems Information design What are the best designing practice?
  6. 6. MK99 – Big Data 6 The mother of all modern dataviz? •“The map of the market” •Created in 1998 for •Still online and used! •Author: Matt Wattenberg •How to read it –Colors represent change in stock price –Surface represents market capitalization •What it does –Evolution by sectors at a glance –Facilitates comparisons / outlier detection –Drilling: clicking on a sector zooms on it.
  7. 7. MK99 – Big Data 7 Key examples of dataviz •2010: Memorial for the victims of the Twin Towers – –Author: Jer Thorp ( •2011: OECD Better Life Index – –Author: Moritz Stefaner ( •2012: Realtime map of wind speed in the US – –Authors: Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg ( •2013: The story of every known drone strike and victim in Pakistan. – –Authors: Pitch Interactive (
  8. 8. MK99 – Big Data 8 Twin Tower Memorial
  9. 9. MK99 – Big Data 9 OECD Better Life Index
  10. 10. MK99 – Big Data 10
  11. 11. MK99 – Big Data 11 Drone strikes and victims, 2005-2013
  12. 12. MK99 – Big Data 12 What makes a good data visualization? 1.A pre-condition: data must be respected – no photoshopping! 2.A « trademark »: data remains largely disaggregated 3.A result: the audience learns something new, via a process of discovery 4.A follow-up: the experience is « addictive », it is memorable and one gets drawn back to it.
  13. 13. MK99 – Big Data 13 Ben Fry’s process of creation in 7 steps From Fry (2005) PhD dissertation: Computational Information Design available at:
  14. 14. MK99 – Big Data 14 Data visualization: what use for business? •Exploration –Is there any interesting pattern / segment to be found in my customer data? •Communication –Here is the visual summary of my conclusions, for my manager –Here is a visual explanation of the analytical solution I push to the client •Control –Monitoring monthly indicators and trends for production, sales etc. on a dashboard •Emotion –Conveying a critical message in a communication campaign through a powerful visualization
  15. 15. MK99 – Big Data 15 Custom Solutions to create data visualizations •By hand One-off projects Data of limited size Bleeding edge design Large set of features Fit for big data Standard design Can deploy to the entire org Small agencies Teams inside orgs BI solutions Off the shelf
  16. 16. MK99 – Big Data 16 1.Data processing –R, Python and Matlab are favored both in the academic community & in the industry –Java is used heavily for data management in companies, also used in academia for data- intensive tasks. 2.Visualization –Processing (Java-based): to create videos or installations. –Javascript (D3.js, three.js, Google Chart API, SigmaJS etc.): to create web-based animations –Flash (Flash itself or Flare): to create desktop applications. –R and Python (some packages): to create pictures – often “scientific” in style. 3.Gimp, Inkscape, PhotoShop or Illustrator to polish the result for print outputs. 1. Using programmatic tools HOW
  17. 17. MK99 – Big Data 17 But why would I bother with programming? -> You get much more flexibility and creativity. -> Here is just a sample of what can be done in javascript with
  18. 18. MK99 – Big Data 18 2. Hiring an agency A choice of 8 outstanding solutions (NL) (DE) (US, Portland) (CH) (US, NYC) (FR) (US, Boston) (US, Oakland)
  19. 19. MK99 – Big Data 19 •Gephi •NodeXL •VosViewer 3. “click and point” applications •ArcGIS •QGIS •MapBox •Google Fusion Tables •Tableau •Synerscope •joliCharts • •Excel •Data Wrapper •Raw Drawing networks Drawing maps Drawing networks, charts and / or maps
  20. 20. MK99 – Big Data 20 4. BI integrated solutions •Tableau •Qlik Sense •BIME Analytics •Palantir •Spotfire •SiSense
  21. 21. MK99 – Big Data 21 5. To go further… •Critical thinking on data visualization – -> A podcast series –VizWiz –the Why Axis –Junk Charts –WTF Visualizations •Great lists of tools and resources – –
  22. 22. MK99 – Big Data 22 This slide presentation is part of a course offered by EMLYON Business School ( Contact Clement Levallois (levallois [at] for more information.