Designers know how to take complex or disparate information and make it tangible, understandable, and importantly, more human. ...
Technologists on the other hand, tend to try to structure data in a flexible way. They analyze it, dashboard it, and cross-reference it to make it more efficient and intelligent.
Both approaches are needed. The data needs to be flexible enough to enable users to manipulate it to find the insights they seek.
Design of the data display and controls to manipulate data need to be clear enough to enable people to work with what they see. From the article:
Here are some ways that design can help companies make sense of their data and identify opportunities to turn it into a benefit for their customers:
This list speaks to the fact that data, even well-designed data, needs to have an editorial or curatorial layer that either guides people to the stories that are relevant to them, or otherwise helps to highlight the significance. Getting this right involves deep understanding of what the data can show, knowing who is likely to be interested in what, and using interface and information design to make sense of the display.