Lecture Pod 6 – The Beauty of Data Visualisation


*Image taken directly from the lecture.

The main point of the lecture is that Information is Beautiful. Data Visualisation helps us to hone in and focus only on the information that matters. Visualising data helps us to see patterns and connections that we would not have otherwise seen. Data can be massaged, shaped and compared to create new insights. Through being shaped it can be used to tell a story that no-one has noticed before. Data visualisation is really the combination of the languages of both the eye and the brain, the combination of images and words to create new meaning. It is also a form of data compression, making a ridiculous amount of data fit into a small space while also being understandable.

It can also just look cool.



*Image taken directly from the lecture.

The main thing that I learn’t from this lecture was that for information to be understood, it needs a good visualisation. It needs to be able to be quickly understood and also able to be further interrogated. If people are scrolling on social media, they are not going to stop for a huge paragraph of text but they may stop for a visualisation.


McCandless, D. (2016). The beauty of data visualization. Retrieved 18 October 2016, from


4X4 Model for Knowledge Content

The 4×4 Model for Knowledge Content is a guide to getting people to engage with your website or online content brought about by the fact that many people will only spend 10 seconds on your website and even then most will only skim it. So your content needs a way to stand out.

The 4 models here were:

  1. The Water Cooler – Typically a headline. Content is succinct, direct and compelling. Its purpose is to grab your attention.
  2. The Cafe – Where the content is explored with more details. NOT a deep study. A progression from water cooler that explains the ideas not just introduce them.
  3. The Research Library – This is where you dig deep. Contains research and data to back up the water cooler and the cafe.
  4. The Lab – Users interact with the data from the research library. Rarest form of content but also the most powerful. Gives the users access to the data to interpret any way they like.

There are also four components involved here.

  1. Visualisation
  2. Story-Telling
  3. Interactivity
  4. Shareability


This following diagram was quickly created by me to better show this system. There was a visualisation similar to this was used in the video, but I modified it to better represent this method.


All information for this post was retrived from Bill, S. (2014). The 4X4 Model for Winning Knowledge Content. Vimeo. Retrieved 26th July 2016, from