Reference and guide to SFIA version 7. Framework status: Development.

#1267 Data visualisation is an unwelcome addition as a separate skill: change request deferred

Data visualisation is one of a number of specialisms within the area covered by 'information content publishing' along with thing like content design, information architecture, search engine optimisation, content analytics, content workflow management, i18n, web typography and more.

Within the draft the overall skill description focuses on picture-making and implicitly widens it to 'Presenting findings and data insights in creative ways to facilitate the understanding of data' - this is just visual design. In the level 5 description the brief is widened beyond picture-making to duplicate the responsibilities in ICOM: 'Formats and communicates results, using textual, numeric, graphical and other visualisation methods appropriate to the target audience. Advises on appropriate use of data visualisation for different purposes, contexts etc to enable requirements to be satisfied. Develops plans showing how the identified user need will be met.' This is comms management, which will employ or contract appropriate specialists.

Data visualisation is a visual communication specialism: its practitioners need training and experience in graphic design, psychology, visual rhetoric and evaluating communication effectiveness. They need to know what's possible using technical toolsets, and it helps if they are able to use those toolsets, but it's not an IT-native skill.

ICOM would be improved by incorporating the idea of 'media selection and management' rather than 'formatting', which presumably reflects the history of this skill fom a base in the textual documentation of software. ICOM today routinely encompasses video, animation, simulation, learning management and collaboration as well as data visualisation.

Attached to Data visualisation


What we decided