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Why the future of data visualization cannot forget its past

Many readers of last week’s blog couldn’t help but relate to the information overload that is present in their everyday lives. Although technology has provided its users with heaps of information, the challenge we constantly deal with is that of finding the right information, understanding how this information affects us, and responding to it in a timely manner. This challenge, however, predates Google, predates ERPs, and (believe it or not) it predates computers.


When it comes to making sense of the world, humans have continually sought to represent their knowledge and experiences in a visual format. Consider the cave drawings in Lascaux, France, Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketchbook, or Churchill’s famous Cabinet War Room during the Second World War. Visualization has always been essential where vast amounts of information are concerned – whether it is for the purpose of telling a story, simplifying new and complex ideas, or managing your organization.


A recent blog posting by John Sviokla at the Harvard Business Review outlined three long-standing objectives of data visualization.   


  1. Great visualizations are efficient — they let people look at vast quantities of data quickly.
  2. Visualizations can help an analyst, or a group, achieve greater insight into the nature of a problem and discover new understanding.
  3. An effective visualization can help create a shared view of a situation and align folks on needed actions.


Although Nakisa prides itself on being an innovator in the field of talent and organizational management, we cannot ignore the fundamental objectives of data visualization. There is no telling what information will look like in the future, but I am confident that our team at Nakisa will continue to provide the tools to help you find it, understand it, and respond to it.

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