I recently read in the Los Angeles Times a story regarding the color-coded system
that the Homeland Security Department uses to inform people on the current terrorism threat level.
In short, the article explained how no one really understood what the different colors meant; with that in mind, Homeland Security is considering revamping the system so they, as said by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, can "provide specific, actionable information based on the latest intelligence."
Another anonymous person was more direct: "The goal is to replace a system that communicates nothing."
In data visualization, it is important to have meaning behind the representation especially in situations such as knowing what actions to take against terrorism.
Although, the dashboards you're building may not be as critical, remember the next time you are using a color coded visualization to provide additional meaning behind it. With an explanation and a suggested course of action, your dashboard will more likely be used and, just as importantly, continue to be used.
Keywords: Data Visualization
posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 6:32 PM