In the Washington Monthly, a good article on visualization guru Edward Tufte.
" ... Edward Tufte occupies a revered and solitary place in the world of graphic design. Over the last three decades, he has become a kind of oracle in the growing field of data visualization—the practice of taking the sprawling, messy universe of information that makes up the quantitative backbone of everyday life and turning it into an understandable story. His four books on the subject have sold almost two million copies, and in his crusade against euphemism and gloss, he casts a shadow over the world of graphs and charts similar to the specter of George Orwell over essay and argument ... "
I have attended his seminars, have most of his books. Quite inspirational. But at the same time the use of the word 'oracle' is limiting. He is a designer and not a deep expert in the data and computing methods now essential to deal with big data.