Edward Tufte is one of the key thinkers in this area.  Below is a link to a summary of his ideas.  While in attendance at our first ever Business Intelligence conference in Seattle this week, I am stuck by the dichotomy between the power of the tools and the inability of the people using them to show appropriate imagination.

Where are the designers?  Uniting the power of WPF and Silverlight with our BI stack seems to be an incredible opportunity - who will make the display of information interesting, fun and, most importantly, desirable to look at?

Link to Envisioning Information