ISACA Journal Author Blog

ISACA > Journal > Practically Speaking Blog > Posts > Visualization: Inherent or Learned?

Visualization:  Inherent or Learned?

Karina Korpela, CISA, CISM, CISSP, PMP
| Published: 1/11/2016 3:24 PM | Permalink | Email this Post | Comments (2)

Do you have any artistic skills? Despite the fact my mother was an extraordinary painter, I did not inherit her artistic genes. But I took the subject of visualization as a challenge, and the more I researched it, the more I came to the realization that it is not a gift or a gene. The skills required for most effectively displaying information are not intuitive and rely largely on principles that can be learned. Anyone can learn data visualization.

Data analytics alone is not all that is needed. While some may think of it as cosmetic, strong visualization can help convey messages more effectively. There is a big difference in acceptance and understanding when analytics results are delivered as visual dashboards rather than in spreadsheets. Additionally, there is just as much science supporting data visualization as there is behind analytics.

My two-part Journal article summarizes experiences involving visualization and also contains some tips that readers can use immediately.

Read Karina’s recent Journal article:
The Art of Data Visualization: A Gift or a Skill?, Part 1,” ISACA Journal, volume 1, 2016.



Thank you for the precise and concise information on data visualization. I have always thought the visualization skills where inherent, until I came across someone who was good at hand made drawings but was terrible when it comes to slide presentation design. Although I still believe that a good artist will develop better his or her visualization skills than someone who is a bad artist... What do you think?
Abdulbaqi528 at 1/23/2016 8:36 AM

Abdulbaqi, thanks for your comment

I agree that in Data visualization someone inherently skilled would have better chances in mastering the subject, a jump start one could say. But wouldn’t you agree that even Art has elements of skill? I do believe that if one is passionate enough, and willing to invest in hard labor and education, one can absolutely learn any subject. However, skills are only the foundation and at the end it is the combination of skills, creativity and ability to understand the data that matters. And this is in my opinion what distinguishes Masters from apprentices.
specialK at 1/26/2016 1:55 PM