>@visually FTW: One of the most important benefits of visualization is that it allows us access to huge amounts of data in ways that would not be otherwise possible. There are thousands of examples of visualizations of big data, from fun, to current and historic, to financial and mortal.
The knowledge encompassed in these various data sets would be nearly inaccessible to the casual, or even moderately interested viewer, if it was not visualized. But a good visualization gives us access to that knowledge, and does so quickly, efficiently, and effectively. (Naturally deeper insight comes from deeper study, but there’s a lot to be said for quick access and reader engagement.)