Summary analysis

After watching the collection of talks on Visualizing Data, read a thoughtful recap of the major points in this TED Study, and learn where experts believe things are headed.

What's next?

TED designed Visualizing Data to enable learners to recognize the powerful insights data can provide when presented in a compelling fashion. We will continue to be inundated with data as technology makes it easier and easier to collect the data. Learning how to "see" the patterns and connections in data will become an increasingly sought after and valuable skill in virtually every field. Learning how to create effective data visualizations will be even more valuable.

Coping with the deluge of what we call "Big Data" is one of the primary challenges for statisticians, data analysts, and those who can benefit from the information it contains. Think of the data you have generated in the past 24 hours — a record of every website you've visited, credit card purchases, surveillance video at a business your visited, GPS tracking of where your phone has traveled, road sensors that have monitored a vehicle you were in, photos posted online, every text, tweet, and email have all been added to the day's store of new data.

Organizing all of this data to be useful, while maintaining appropriate safeguards on individual privacy, is an ongoing concern. New technology enables us to collect and store vast amounts of data, but developing technologies that allow us to access, process, and display it in an understandable form to address questions of interest is a daunting task.
While the TEDTalks in this series show how experts can extract and communicate valuable information from data, one of the major challenges is to develop this capacity in non-experts who have questions that data can help address, and to educate the general public to be intelligent consumers of data-based analyses.

In the activities that follow, we encourage you to explore other uses and styles of data visualization. These options just begin to scratch the surface. Start looking and you will find data visualizations being used in almost any field. What are you interested in? Go explore the data and see what you find!

Relevant talks