Numbers and Visuals

I have met people who hold that you can be skilled in only one of these – numbers or visuals. If you are a data-oriented person, you don’t have great visual taste and if you have good visual sense, you probably don’t like working with data. They do not say this directly, but it comes out as a subconscious belief.

This is not unfounded. I know people who justify these descriptions. Astounding visual guys who space out when they see an Excel sheet as well as number wizards who make  presentations you want to look away from.

But of late, I am working with 23-25 year old students & professionals who are good at both of these areas. They can look at fine details of a product, and they are comfortable with abstractions, numbers and verbal logic.

I believe these will be the most influential creators of the future. Because great products appeal to both intuition and reason.

Notes:

  • Interesting post on the mindsets of visual intuition & reason – seeing vs. reading.
  • Capability for both skills also depends on tools available. I suspect one of 2 skills may be dormant in a few people just because they haven’t been exposed to easy tools for creation. Almost everyone would create better with MS Excel and Photoshop training.
  • I might be wrong in the scientific sense of course, and there could be a significant negative correlation between these. But still with some willingness and better tools I believe the skill sets can be developed.
  • Funes, the memorious, the short story by Jorge Luis Borges, is a captivating portrayal of the interplay between these two faculties.

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