Data Visualization: Communicating Data and Complex Ideas Visually

Whether you’re pitching a new idea, persuading others to take action, building a strategy, or making a decision, data is key. But the amount of information available today is staggering, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed by too many statistics, distracted by the wrong set of numbers, and confused by the complexity of data.

This program combines the science of data visualization with the art of graphic design to help you communicate complex information more accurately and effectively. By transforming data sets into visual graphics—such as charts, bar graphs, scatterplots, and heatmaps—you will learn to present complex data in ways your audience can better understand. Through hands-on exercises, you’ll explore the many types of data in use today, learn how people perceive different graphical displays, and create visual presentations that make a stronger impact on your audience.

Program Benefits

  • Learn how to tell data stories with visualizations
  • Understand how people interpret different types of visual information
  • Communicate more precisely by pinpointing the most relevant information
  • Apply effective methods for analyzing, presenting, and using statistical data    
  • Avoid creating misleading representations of data—and being misled by others
  • Earn a Certificate of Participation from the Harvard University Division of Continuing Education

Topics Covered

  • Creating interactive visualizations using Tableau
  • Conceptualizing ideas and interaction techniques using sketching
  • Using the visualization design sprint process
  • Evaluating strengths and weaknesses of visualization approaches for improvements
  • Applying principles of effective visualizations to connect with your audience

Who Should Enroll

This program is ideal for professionals or managers in a wide range of disciplines with an interest in the visual presentation of data. No programming experience or specific software experience is necessary. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop or tablet.

Program Information

Program Dates

June 8–9, 2020
Instructor Hanspeter Pfister

Class Times

2019 Class Times: 9am-5pm
2020 Class Times: 8:30am-4:30pm

Program Fee

2019 Program Fee: $2,850
2020 Program Fee: $2,895

Location

One Brattle Square
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.

Instructor

Hanspeter Pfister is the An Wang Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and an affiliate faculty member of the Center for Brain Science. His research in visual computing lies at the intersection of visualization, computer graphics, and computer vision and spans a wide range of topics, including biomedical image analysis and visualization, image and video analysis, and visual analytics in data science. Pfister has a PhD in computer science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MS in electrical engineering from ETH Zurich, Switzerland. From 2013 to 2017 he was director of the Institute for Applied Computational Science. Before joining Harvard, he worked for over a decade at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories, where he was associate director and senior research scientist. He was the chief architect of VolumePro, Mitsubishi Electric’s award-winning real-time volume rendering graphics card, for which he received the Mitsubishi Electric President’s Award in 2000. Pfister is the recipient of the 2010 IEEE Visualization Technical Achievement Award, the 2009 IEEE Meritorious Service Award, and the 2009 Petra T. Shattuck Excellence in Teaching Award. Pfister was elected as chair and is currently a director of the IEEE Visualization and Graphics Technical Committee. 

Read More about Hanspeter Pfister