Is abstract art in any way resembling visual analytics?
Indeed, both are seeking some representation of reality, both are distorting the reality, both when finally framed and exhibited are offensive to both the creator (for losing the intended message) and the public (for misunderstanding the artist).
The role of the visual analyst is to build bridges between the data and problem domains, which represent knowledge, experience and intuition of two communities, i.e. the problem owners and problem solvers, who communicate in two distinct languages - the language of business and the language of data. A challenge!
Beauty of visual form is an important element of visual analytics. It is important because of the very nature of human cognition which allows us to recognise beauty where there is order, a pattern or symmetry and thus the likelihood of gaining insights is significantly greater.
We are told that choice and the number of colours and forms to represent visualised information is of penultimate importance to the analyst. While these two aspects are of great importance, it is often understood that visual images need to be kept as simple as possible by means of as few as possible colours and shapes. This is a pitfall in those cases when the problem complexity needs to be shown complex to be fully understood.
What's different about analytics is the need for information analysis and generation of insights. Good visualisation will allow the insights to naturally come into light.
Understanding of issues at hand and their resolution is the ultimate aim of the process. Analytic process allows the important issues to emerge from the ocean of noise and unimportant ones to remain submerged.
How difficult is it to depict noise accurately? Visualised noise must not form patterns and ideas in the perceiver's mind - is this possible?
Info art generated with Visual Analyst 3D