Data exploration through visualisation – Digital scholarship blog

By Ben O'Steen | September 26, 2013

by Ben O’Steen

The impact that a thoughtful visualisation has cannot be underestimated. However, it’s easy to forget how tremendously useful they are for understanding your own data, before you even know what you have.

The questions “Is there…?” and “What if…?” drive the exploration of data. Often, these questions are best answered by creating something in reply: “This is what it looks like in that context.” This can be as simple as creating a chart from a spreadsheet, or pulling out all the key words and phrases and putting them all together on a single page. There are also a number of tools that will take structured data and provide different ways to examine them.

This post will not be a survey of visualisation software, but it will contain a few worked examples of how I approached some data and how I went about exploring it using the occasional visualisation. There is python code below but you won’t need to know how to program to understand what it does.

Read full post here. (Originally posted September 16, 2013)