Data Visualization 101: Trends, Skillset, and Tools

On Wednesday, November 15, 2017, more than 60 members and guests of the Women In Big Data Forum met at WalmartLabs in Sunnyvale, Calirfornia, for an introduction into the Data Visualization field and a discussion about trends and entry points into the field. WalmartLabs generously provided us with excellent facilities and food for the event.

Women in Big Data Forum leadership team members Yulia Tell, Intel Corporation, and Stella Mashkevitch kicked off the event by welcoming participants and highlighting the many opportunities involvement in WiBD affords them, from joining a committee…to running a training…to sponsoring an event.

Yulia Tell

Stella Mashkevitch

Vladimir Kroz, WalmartLabs, highlighted WalmartLab’s cutting edge research and development groups and many current openings and career opportunities.

Vladimir Kroz

The next presenter was Partha Padmanabhan, an instructor on Data Visualization and Data Modeling at the University of California at Santa Clara extension in the evening and a Senior Data and Solutions Architect at Cisco by day. With more than 20 years working in Data Modeling and Relational Database concepts, Partha has a great deal of  experience in Big Data and the In-Memory database. His  expertise includes creating Logical/Physical and Dimensional Data models for Transaction applications, Enterprise Data Warehouse systems, designing Big Data solutions, Analytical Data Modeling, and enabling Business Intelligence Solutions using Tableau for Dashboards and Data Visualization needs.

Partha Padmanabhan

Partha started his presentation with a definition of terms: What is data visualization? Where can elements of data visualization, such as dashboards, be met? He then went into details about different types of Data Visualization: exploration, explanation, and the importance of taking into account the audience’s expectations. Despite great advances in the area of Data Visualization, technological and even just human abilities to comprehend information remain pain points.

Next, Partha went over major players in the field and gave an overview of their products currently on the market. He also showed examples of good and bad data visualizations, and touched briefly on the trends in Data Visualization development, finishing with an overview of entry points for software professionals into Data Visualization.

Prompted by questions from the audience, Partha touched on forecasting visualization and choosing the best tool for specific visualization needs.

Overall, it was a very good introduction into dashboards and data visualization. Click here to download Partha’s presentation.

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