Introduction to Data Visualization

Spring 2020



Basic understanding of statistics and bivariate linear regression. Some experience in the use of a statistical software package.


Data visualization is one of the most powerful tools to explore, understand and communicate patterns in quantitative information. At the same time, good data visualization is a surprisingly difficult task and demands three quite different skills: substantive knowledge, statistical skill, and artistic sense. The course is intended to introduce participants to a) key principles of analytic design and useful visualization techniques for the exploration and presentation of univariate and multivariate data. This course is highly applied in nature and emphasizes the practical aspects of data visualization in the social sciences. Students will learn how to evaluate data visualizations based on principles of analytic design, how to construct compelling visualizations using the free statistics software R, and how to explore and present their data with visual methods.