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The Simple Genius of a Good Graphic

New graphics and data visualizations are emerging every day trying to portray the data and reality that surrounds us. However, like most things in the world, it is the law of Occam's razor that sets the bar. It is a principle of theory construction or evaluation according to which, other things equal, explanations that posit fewer entities, or fewer kinds of entities, are to be preferred to explanations that posit more. Or in other words the simplest solution is usually the best. This is especially true with graphics and data visualizations, a lot of times one can spend endless hours designing a new dashboard that no one is looking at later, simply because it is either too complicated or it's not answering the questions users want to pursue. Whether that is in education or not, we strive to present the information in the simplest way to enable teachers and schools take data-informed actions to ultimately benefit the learners. In this short, 5 min TED talk that is part history lesson, part love letter to graphics, information designer Tommy McCall traces the centuries-long evolution of charts and diagrams, and shows how complex data can be sculpted into beautiful shapes. "Graphics that help us think faster, or see a book's worth of information on a single page, are the key to unlocking new discoveries," McCall says.

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