7: David McCandless- The Beauty of Data Visualisation


  • Visualise information to see patterns and connections that matter
  • Designing information and make more sense, tell a story or focus information that is important

Example 1: The $Billion Dollar O-Gram

  • Information is meaningless without context
  • Only way to understand: Visually and relatively
  • Colour = motivation
  • You can see patterns and connections
  • Can compare many information sources
The Billion Dollar-o-Gram 2013 (D. McCandless, 2014)

Example 2: Mountain out of Molehills

  • Key:
    • Colour = topics
    • Widths = Time Periods
    • Heights = Intensities
    • Patterns can be seen between months (Can be anniversaries of fears such as violent attacks)
  • Data:
    • “Data is the new oil” to now “Data is the new soil”
    • New medium in which people work with
    • Perspective: via proportions (GDP = Country earnings)
    • Need RELATIVE information
Mountain Out of Molehills (D. McCandless, F. Bergamaschi, n.a.)

Example 3: Snake Oil supplements?

  • Balloon race
  • The higher = popularity and evidence
  • Knowledge compressions
  • “Live Data”
Snake Oil Supplements? (D. McCandless, T. Evans, 2019)


  • Take conflicting viewpoints with non- biased opinions
  • Design = solving problems and provide elegant problems
  • Information Designs = solving information problems
  • There are a lot of information problems in society
  • Provides a quick solution of problems


The most important part from video was that it is essential to have an open mind and ensure that biased opinions are not in action. As it ensures the information is reliable, but not only that, it also provides an opportunity to learn about the other parties involved and present insightful information.

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