If you are looking at data visualization from a business perspective an execution rather than exploration perspective . I can recommend COLE NUSSBAUMER KNAFLIC book STORYTELLING WITH DATA . These guidelines cover exploration .



Synergistic Not Analytical


  • Divergent not convergent -Good at generating lots of options as opposed to procedural thinker who are good at following set procedure and solving problems by breaking things down , classification and organization . Problem solving depends on how Information is framed . Suggestion To engage. Ask don’t tell .


– Asynchronous


  • The complex tasks come easily .Mastery of the simple material often requires little more than rote memorization with little engagement .The stereotype of the absent minded professor is not conjured out of thin air. These minds that need priming .
  • Under pressure its hard to find the right words . Prone to reflective , relaxed , rambling streams of consciousness . Suggestion the See Do Listen and Review Framework. Nobody likes to see or hear themselves played back. We are own worst critics .
  • Look for peaks and valleys on IQ tests the typical profile is not that of a decathlete
  • Being able to run throw an jump is great but it’s not essential.



1 – Visual Not Linguistic


  • Thinks in pictures not words .-Suggestion video lectures or training for playback – use technology .
  • Difficulty following spoken directions . Tip – look away to maintain auditory focus. Don’t be afraid of the mp3 .
  • Lecturing – Suggestion a highly visual dramatic presentation style reliant on imagery should be backed up by visual cues and materials .
  • Excellent visualizers still need guidance . Still need to develop these skills
  • Can’t listen , write and remain engaged .Learns best when seeing .Suggestion encourage shorthand note taking which uses a mixture of pictures and doodles concept webs process and mind maps .

2 – Spatial Not Sequential


  • Strong spatial sense , a natural affinity with maps , diagrams and graphs , use where possible to illustrate a point . Suggestion Microsoft office Suite and Google Docs are excellent resources .
  • Poor sense of time management and meeting deadlines . Always making last minute organizational adjustments . Suggestion Materials should be condensed . Feedback loops should be embraced as part of the learning process .
  • Intuitive problem solvers who reach solutions without any visible steps . Not great at working through things step by step . Attention issues arise when ones own thoughts crowd out the external Suggestions : Preview published materials prior to lecture or training sessions
  • Highly sequential presentation of material overload working memory. Everyone loses focus and falls asleep. Suggestion compress material . Stress imagery and use non linear spatial mapping
  • Left Eye dominance in right handed people. This leads to all sorts of issues . TIP line up the index finger on a fixed point and close your right eye . If your index finger remains lined up you are left eye dominant

    Due to cross lateralization the left eye sends information to the right hemisphere .

    Right eyed Right handed . Then you can scan the end of a sentence before you consciously reach the end of the sentence .You have an inbuilt preview, repetition advantage over lefties .

  • Don’t make assumptions – Your reader may have been taught sight reading . If language determines our thinking. The way we are taught is significant . A sight reader is going to benefit from a more holistic approach
  • Utilize reverse engineering and discovery [role play the detective] based learning .

3 – Big Picture Not Detail

  • Context should be ever present it should compressed and visual .
  • Develop framework .Locating information in the the larger context is essential
  • Understanding is all at once .
  • Systems Thinkers – grasp and internalize concepts as a whole with all the parts connected . They need to visualize the system as a whole . Isolated modules are understood then trashed by working memory
  • Pattern seekers – The relationships between chunks of information is vital. They bind the cognitive model into one context and not fragments . These are puzzle thinkers .

4 – Ideas not Format

  • Not good at rote memorization . Drill practice or repetition does not work well. Suggestion To reduce reps and boredom take a memory course
  • Information needs to be meaningful. Suggestion always look to relate materials back to the real world in a concrete way .
  • Interested in ideas not detail. Suggestion embrace the flow let google pick up the procedural errors in computation grammar , spelling and punctuation