Visual Series: The Science of Data Visualization

The best data visualizations are designed to properly take advantage of “pre-attentive features” – visual properties hard-wired into our visual systems that help facilitate quick understanding. Thus, to create the most effective visuals, it’s important to understand the science behind visual cognition.

In this first brief in a four-part series written by Radiant Advisors Research Director Lindy Ryan and originally published by Institute of Analytics (IIA) we take a high-level look at:

  • An introduction to the science of data visualization
  • Key cognitive ingredients to have a visual dialogue with data
  • How to curate meaning in data through visual cues

This brief was originally published by the International Institute of Analytics in July 2015. Learn more about IIA at


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