Can dataviz evoke empathy? Should it even? And if so how? First post in a series towards The Responsible Data Forum on the topic of Data Visualization, Jan 2016, NYC.
by Mushon Zer-Aviv (@mushon)
“If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” —Mother Teresa
A set of beaut
|Scooped by Karen Dietz|
Here's a different article on the art and science of visualizing data (dataviz for short). It brings to light a debate in the data world about whether infographics and similar tools should generate empathy in the viewer.
Fascinating! I understand the scepticism and resistance of analytical types against using storytelling or story elements in communicating their research. The author, Mushon Zer-Aviv, a designer and media activist in NY and Tel Aviv, digs into the different opinions in the dataviz world, and shares an example of how visually displaying data and empathy can work together very powerfully.
Since storytelling is both a right-brain + left brain vehicle for communication, why leave half the brain at home when working with data? Haven't we proven that storytelling is the most powerful form of communication available to us, being field tested for 100,000+ years?
Sure, storytelling is fraught with ethical and moral dilemmas, just like analytical data. Seems a better way to approach these two approaches is to go for a "yes, and" instead of an "either/or": "Yes, each side has its strengths/weaknesses, and combined together they can be even better".
That's what Zer-Aviv's point is. You will definitely enjoy this easy-to-read post with clear examples that back up the author's suggestions.