NUS Module Review: DOS4811 Data Visualisation

Module: DOS4811 Data Visualisation

Semester taken: SEM2 AY2020/2021

Lecturer / Tutor: Jeremy Chen

Module Synopsis (taken from

Visualization is an invaluable tool for supporting analysis and decision making in modern business. Students will: (i) manipulate relational data sets, aggregate the data and generate visual representations; (ii) build a thorough understanding of data aggregation processes; (iii) learn to use interactivity to support data exploration and counterfactual (“what-if”) analysis; and (iv) learn how to communicate ideas effectively with data. This course will include a substantial hands-on-learning component, and supports the development of highly marketable skills in visualization. Applications will be drawn from operations, supply chain management and other aspects of business.

Main Learning Objectives

  • Understand the art of data visualisation
  • Understand and apply process of data aggregation and encoding

Course Deliverables / Graded Components

  • Group Project: 30%
  • Midterm: 30%
  • Assignments: 20%
  • Class participation: 20%

Personal Review

I took this module because I wanted to learn how to use Tableau, a Business Intelligence (BI) tool, for data visualisation.

Although the module utilises Tableau as a tool to demonstrate exploratory data analysis, the concepts taught were not confined to that tool only. The core of the module is about how to make sense of data and present it in a meaningful way. Data visualisation goes beyond just pretty looking charts. Instead, we first need to understand the context of the data, before deriving ways to gain insights from (messy) data, and then proceed to communicate findings effectively.

For the group project, students were given the autonomy to find a business problem to target and present their solution using Tableau dashboard. However, the problem should be of sufficient scale and impact (which can be subjective, so it is advisable to consult the lecturer).

During lessons, besides covering key principles of data visualisation, many real life examples were also shared to let students know how the theory learnt can be put into practise.

Ending Note

If you are keen on a business or data analyst career path, I think this would be a helpful module as you would be equipped with (basic to intermediate) data visualisation skills!

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