The Association for Qualitative Research
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Over the past few years, data visualisation has become one of the industry's hottest topics. Widely popularised by the self-proclaimed 'data journalist and information designer' David McCandless, we're now seeing ever more researchers trying to follow in his footsteps, making information beautiful.

Bringing insights to life for clients is a topic I’m particularly passionate about so I was interested to hear about HTTPrint, a data visualisation project from Swiss student Emilie Pillet. She has created a browser extension for Google Chrome, which monitors your browsing history and then visualises this information — from the sites you visit to the time you spend on them — in the form of a personalised newspaper.

While this is an example of visualising quantitative data, it should give us, as qualitative researchers, some food for thought. What are the key headlines from our research? And how can we use data visualisation techniques to really bring these insights alive for clients?

Data visualisation needs to enhance rather than overtake the key message if it’s to bring the research alive and move a business to action.


Anjul Sharma
This article was first published in InBrief magazine, December 2015
Copyright © Association for Qualitative Research, 2015