Towards a Periodic Table of Visualization Methods for Management

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Resource Details
Publication Date: 
January 2007
Ralph Lengler and Martin Eppler
Number of Pages: 


Towards a Periodic Table of Visualization Methods for Management describes the effort of defining and compiling existing visualization methods in order to develop a systematic overview based on the logic, look, and use of the periodic table of elements. First, authors Ralph Lengler and martin Eppler describe the current fragmented state of the visualization field. Then, identifying the criteria for research and collection of 100 visualization methods, Lengler and Eppler propose a framework for imagining the field of data visualization as a periodic table.

This article proposes an integrative overview on one aspect of the visualization field, namely the development of easily applicable visualization methods, that is to say systematic graphic formats, that can be used to create, share, or codify knowledge (in the sense of insights, experiences, contacts, or skills). The visual structure of the periodic table presents numerous benefits: First, it can provide a descriptive overview over the domain and can function as an inventory or repository like a structured toolbox; second, this structure reduces the complexity inherent in choosing a visualization method for a particular application context; third, it helps identify similarities and differences among visualization methods; finally, it can be used to assist researchers and practitioners in identifying relevant visualization methods and assess their application parameters.

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