Data visualisations in SSIX?

SSIX captures and analyses financial sentiment from Twitter. In order to make sense of the ever-increasing amount of data, visualisations are essential tools to facilitate viewing, understanding and analysing the data. This includes examining the context as well as understanding general data visualization design principles.

Context of financial data visualisations

Most of the current data visualisations in the financial sector, or, more specifically, regarding the stock markets utilise bar and line graphs, area and candlestick charts as well as treemaps, mainly in red (negative) and green (positive). Sentiment visualisations tend to favour line graphs and histograms, especially for temporal data representations. This is not to limit future depictions of financial data but to acknowledge the ‘added learning’ that would need to take place when using other chart types in particular.

General data visualization design principles

The overall purpose of data visualisations is to enable the viewer to view, understand and, ultimately, analyse the data. Good visualisations involve users to discover insights yet maintain aesthetic appeal as this increases user's’ initial engagement. This is why design principles concerning colours, composition and visual variables are essential in supporting users to understand and be able to analyse the data.

As such, a data visualisation module was devised for NUI Galway that looks at the following topics:

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