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Ohio University

Finding Data & Visualizing Information

This guide will walk you through some of the tools, resources, and best practices for working & visualizing information, including data.


Data is a set of values that are either qualitative or quantitative that correlates to a piece of information. Perhaps a dataset is collected from an event, phenomenon, or behavior. Data is collected, measured, analyzed, manipulated, and shared to provide an understanding of something from a different perspective or more in-depth than the initial observation. However, by simply looking at raw, unprocessed data that act alone does not really TELL you anything. Information visualization creates visual representations and interpretations of data to enhance our understanding of the information.

This guide is designed to introduce you how to find and use of information and data in a visual way through a variety of tools that are available for you to utilize. Please note that we are not experts in everything, but are happy to help as much as possible.

A visual history of human knowledge by an Infographic Specialist

How does knowledge grow? Sometimes it begins with one insight and grows into many branches; other times it grows as a complex and interconnected network. Infographics expert Manuel Lima explores the thousand-year history of mapping data — from languages to dynasties — using trees and networks of information. It's a fascinating history of visualizations, and a look into humanity's urge to map what we know.