Introduction to Data Visualization

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Introduction to Data Visualization - Course Details

Delve into the course contents and find out about the faculty members.

Single Course Price:

400.00 EUR (tax exempt)



Prof. Richard Traunmüller (University of Mannheim)

Video lecture:

Prof. Richard Traunmüller (University of Mannheim)


Course Dates

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Course Description

Short Course Description
Data visualization is one of the most powerful tools to explore, understand and communicate patterns in quantitative information. At the same time, good data visualization is a surprisingly difficult task and demands three quite different skills: substantive knowledge, statistical skill, and artistic sense. The course is intended to introduce participants to key principles of analytic design and useful visualization techniques for the exploration and presentation of univariate and multivariate data. This course is highly applied in nature and emphasizes the practical aspects of data visualization in the social sciences. Students will learn how to evaluate data visualizations based on principles of analytic design, how to construct compelling visualizations using the free statistics software R, and how to explore and present their data with visual methods

Course prerequisites are a basic understanding of statistics and bivariate linear regression. Some experience in the use of a statistical software package would help, preferable basic data management tasks in R (loading and merging data, generating and recoding variables, etc.) I will provide detailed code examples to get students up to pace.

Course Objectives
By the end of the course, students will…

  • know how to evaluate and criticize data visualizations based on principles of analytic design
  • be in the position to explore and present their data with visual methods
  • understand which graphical formats are useful for which types of data and questions
  • know how to construct compelling visualizations using the free statistics software R

Course Composition
This is a 2 ECTS course, which runs for 4 weeks. The content of the course is broken down into 4 units:

  1. Data Visualization as a Methodology
  2. Principles of Analytic Design
  3. Making Visual Comparisons
  4. Visualizing Relations Between Variables

Learning and Teaching Methods
In this course, you are responsible for reading the required literature for each unit and then “attending” mandatory weekly one-hour online meetings where students have the chance to discuss the materials from a unit with the instructor. In addition, students are encouraged to post questions about the materials covered in the videos and readings of the week in the forum before the meetings. Just like in an on-site course, homework will be assigned and there will be a final project report at the end of the course.

Grading will be based on:

  • Participation at online meetings (worth 10%)
  • Required Course Assignments (worth 40% total)
  • Final Visualization Project (worth 50%)


ZFU Certification and Online Dispute Resolution

ZFU Certification

The Mannheim Master of Applied Data Science & Measurement program is certified according to the regulations of the ZFU (Staatliche Zentralstelle für Fernunterricht).


Online Dispute Resolution

Online dispute resolution according to Art. 14 Sect. 1 ODR-VO: The European Commission provides a platform for online dispute resolution (ODR). You can find more information under


Located in the heart of the German and European economy, Mannheim Business School (MBS), the umbrella organization for management education at the University of Mannheim, is considered to be one of the leading institutions of its kind in Germany and is continuously ranked as Germany’s #1.