Breathing Life (and Beauty) into Data

What was your favorite article in Information Outlook last year? For Ali Birnbach, a reference librarian at the Mill Valley (Calif.) Public Library, it was an interview that proved that data, properly visualized, can be beautiful as well as illuminating.

I love articles that inspire me to think deeply, that excite, invigorate, and challenge me. The thought-provoking interview with Anselm Spoerri in the September-October 2017 issue did just that. This is an interview you should not miss.

With his clear, thoughtful answers, Spoerri—a professor in the Rutgers University School of Communication and Information—elucidates the deep, murky waters of data visualization. He invites readers to consider the philosophical side of data science (Does data matter? How do you decide which data sets are important? What’s the difference between presenting and understanding data?), the behavioral and sociological aspects (What does it mean to be a passive consumer versus an active explorer of data?), and the exciting, evolving future of data visualization (How will people access and consume data in the future?).

Over the course of the interview, Spoerri breathes life into an often-mentioned, but frequently superficially explored, subject. The result is an informative, engaging, and challenging interview that leaves an impression. Read the interview—it’s a fascinating look into a beautiful world.

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