Ben Fry using the “tropiest of design tropes”, describes his goals for visualization. On communication:
Communication is the most basic part: the table stakes of information design. If the piece doesn’t communicate, then it’s useless. A lot of time, attention, and effort goes into creating PDF documents that few people will ever read. In the past this was even more expensive, because the result was elegant printed reports that would go straight to someone’s shelf. If you create something that nobody uses, you’ve failed to communicate.