The history of data visualization is goes way back.
There are a few names to know and things to think about.
Quoting Edward Tufte in the Introduction of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Data graphics visually display measured quantities by means of the combined use of points, lines, a coordinate system, numbers, symbols, words, shading, and color ... Modern data graphics can do much more than simply substitute for small statistical tables. At their best, graphics are instruments for reasoning about quantitative information. Often the most effective way to describe, explore and summarize a set of numbers - even a very large set - is to look at pictures of those numbers. Furthermore, of all methods for analyzing and communicating statistical information, well-designed graphics are usually the simplest and at the same time the most powerful.
Edward Tufte and his three classics
Lessons for data analysts from the Challenger disaster tells us good data display could be a life or death issue.
But there are always several different ways to view the same situation and not everyone agrees with Tufte.
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