The promise of data visualization is that you’ll be able to derive insights from complex or noisy data. The implication is that those insights will surface cleanly and clearly – preferably through a pleasant, easy to understand, easy to navigate interface. Those things almost never happen at the same time. Why not?
1) We give the data too much power and the story we want it to tell too little.
2) We don’t think through the conclusions we want stakeholders to make from interacting with the data.
3) We are reluctant to manage the reporting and interface for fear of seeming inaccurate.
4) We think complicated means important on some level when it’s just confusing which is much worse.
5) We’re not willing, to summarize data, and it’s interaction when that’s what most people want.