6 Tips for Creating Effective Data Visualizations with Examples

Readers rely on labels to interpret data, but too many or too few can interfere. They should be used intentionally to highlight relevant information or provide additional context. Showing that you’ve actually had a 100% sales increase since Q1. Tip #4 – Use color to highlight important information or to differentiate or compare.

Data visualization processes and tricks

This can be accomplished through the use of things like size, color, and position. Data visualization is an opportunity to tell a story with the data. An effective visualization will effectively communicate the key insights from the data in a way that is both accurate and easy to understand. Data visualization is all about communicating data insights in a way that is both accurate and easy to understand. Data overload can quickly lead to confusion, so it’s important to only include the most important information.

Select the Right Chart

One of the most common uses of data visualization is as a business intelligence reporting tool. Visualization tools are used to generate automatic dashboards that give companies a complete view of their business. Knowing the climate of the country where you’re traveling will help you pick the most suitable clothes. Knowing your audience and your purpose will help you create data charts and graphs that are most useful and understandable. Slope graphs are best used to show the relative variation of multiple categories across two time periods or points of comparison.

It is data-driven like profit over the past ten years or a conceptual idea like how a specific organisation is structured. Once this question is answered one can then focus on whether they are trying to communicate information or trying to figure something out . Scott Berinato combines these questions to give four types of visual communication that each have their own goals.

Data visualization processes and tricks

The flowchart shows the steps as boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting the boxes with arrows. Represents a workflow, process or a step-by-step approach to solving a task. Modern Gantt charts also show the dependency relationships between activities and current schedule status. Is a method for displaying hierarchical data using nested figures, usually rectangles.

If you’re looking for a self-service analytics platform that can help you quickly create interactive data visualizations, ThoughtSpot is a great option. Our platform offers all of the features you need to get started, and we have a wide range of Liveboards and support from our team of experts to help you get the most out of your data. Start a free trial today to see how easy it is to take your data from insights to action. Not only is Visme a powerful data visualization tool, but it’s so much more. You can use Visme to create all of your graphic design needs, from sales presentations to pitch decks, social media posts, infographics, videos, eBooks and more. How to Choose Colors for Data Visualizations Color is a major factor in creating effective data visualizations.

Data visualization methods refer to the creation of graphical representations of information. Visualization plays an important part in data analytics and helps interpret big data in a real-time structure by utilizing complex sets of numerical or factual figures. The newest user experience trend is to merge the experience of users’ workflows with actionable insights, suggestions, predictions, and next best actions to take for the task or decision at hand. Savvy business users will still be able to drill into the data and discover patterns and anomalies, but they won’t be burdened with the overly complex tool sets that are used by dedicated business analysts.


Wide variety of templates to present your data in a colorful and attractive manner. Like in this example below, you want your color choices to enhance the differences in your data rather than make them more cluttered. Although text can be intrusive when used excessively, focusing solely on visuals is not enough. A comprehensive analysis of the organization’s success concerning KPI metrics.

One distinction is that it’s information visualization when the spatial representation (e.g., the page layout of a graphic design) is chosen, whereas it’s scientific visualization when the spatial representation is given. Showing sales month by month on a bar graph only needs one color but comparing last month’s sales to this month’s sales in a grouped chart needs a different color for each month. You don’t want the reader to have to work to compare lots of data. Strive for visual consistency so that data can be easily compared — use a line chart, stacked bar chart, or a grouped bar chart. Having clear objectives is crucial to understanding the data visualization process flow. Think about what you are wanting to achieve and who you are trying to reach.

Too many colors will create a cacophony, while using a single color or too many shades of one color can cause the data to blend. Use intuitive colors that make sense to the viewer so they process the information faster. If you’re working with temperatures, use red to indicate heat and blue for cold. It’s helpful to show consistency across values or to highlight contrasts in the data. Pie charts are powerful for adding detail to other visualizations, but aren’t as effective on their own.

To judge their end points, the bars should begin at a zero baseline. In this situation, you could be looking to juxtapose them to show differences or to highlight correlations and overlaps between them. No matter the reason, what is big data visualization it can be a challenge to show two sets of data at once. Download our free cloud data management ebook and learn how to manage your data stack and set up processes to get the most our of your data in your organization.

Data visualization processes and tricks

We may also use such aggregate information to help advertisers reach the kind of audience they want to target. We may make use of the personal data we have collected from you to enable us to comply with our advertisers’ wishes by displaying their advertisements to that target audience. Once your data is clean, you can select the specific type of graph or chart to visualize your data most effectively and efficiently convey the essential information in the dataset.

“The healthy KPIs require neither action nor attention, so why does anyone need to see them? Conditional formatting like this is best kept to a handful of top-level KPIs, not huge heatmaps.” Mahajan said they aren’t always a good fit for BI dashboards and can require too much mental effort to understand “due to their lack of precision and clarity.” Chart types can sometimes be summarized into one iconic example.

Interactive Time Series Visualization

You should always opt for the simplest data visualization that effectively answers the users’ question. If you can accurately and easily tell the story of the data with a line graph, don’t bother with a waterfall chart—that added complexity will only make it more difficult for your users to interpret. If there’s value that you can add by using a more complex visualization, then definitely go for it. But if there’s not, that added time and effort on the user’s end will only feel frustrating.

  • Before, all the font was the same size, so the headings didn’t stand out.
  • While a black and white map is better than text alone, it looks static and does not draw the attention that color can draw.
  • Let’s discuss the different types of big data visualization and assess which one will work best for you.
  • This is a prime example of big data visualization in action.
  • This type of visual is more common with large and complex data where the dataset is somewhat unknown and the task is open-ended.
  • If you’re looking for a self-service analytics platform that can help you quickly create interactive data visualizations, ThoughtSpot is a great option.

Understand the data you’re trying to visualize, including its size and cardinality . Data visualization technology from SAS delivers fast answers to complex questions, regardless of the size of your data. A picture is worth a thousand words – especially when you’re trying to find relationships and understand your data, which could include thousands or even millions of variables. What’s the impact that data visualization has had in the corporate world – and what’s in store for the future? Tree maps, which display hierarchical data as a set of nested shapes, typically rectangles.

Unlike a traditional stacked area graph in which the layers are stacked on top of an axis, in a streamgraph the layers are positioned to minimize their “wiggle”. For example, determining frequency of annual stock market percentage returns within particular ranges such as 0-10%, 11-20%, etc. The height of the bar represents the number of observations with a return % in the range represented by the respective bin. It is important to be upfront about your data source from the start. Know where the data you used came from, how it was collected, what was and was not used, and what conclusions you can draw from it.

How to Visualize Data: 10 Approaches

Data visualization opens an avenue to express numbers that make sense when looked at through a larger lens. The best data visualizations are both beautiful and informative – they are eye-catching and easy to understand. They tell a story and paint a picture of the data; expressed through the use of charts and graphs, infographics, and other visuals.

Data visualization processes and tricks

Her design consultancy also overhauls graphs, publications, and slideshows with the goal of making technical information easier to understand for non-technical audiences. Pictogram charts, or pictograph charts, are particularly useful for presenting simple data in a more visual and engaging way. These charts use icons to visualize data, with each icon representing a different value or category. For example, data about time might be represented by icons of clocks or watches.

Type #1: Line Charts

Animations can be used to draw attention to important data points or highlight a particular element of the design. Meanwhile, interactive elements, such as charts and graphs, can give your audience a way to interact with the data and better understand the information you’re presenting. If so, you need to ensure that the data is easy to understand and that the visuals are clear and concise. When crafting data visualizations, businesses or designers need to take their audience into account. The data points you select and the way you execute the design should be based on who will be viewing the presentation. Data visualization is not just about making data look pretty.

Tips For Creating Effective Visualizations

If you use it wisely, it can be super powerful in drawing attention to where you want people to look at. For example, red conveys boldness, while purple conveys wisdom. You can play with these preattentive attributes to draw attention to which element you want your audience to look at and focus on. Preattentive attributes are visual properties that our mind processes effortlessly. According to science, it takes less than 500 milliseconds for the eye and the brain to process a preattentive property of any image.

Ideally, they should be able to comprehend the story you’re trying to communicate without any issues. Where the previous step was about choosing visualization elements, this step is about making note of the choices you made. Make sure units are correct (e.g., dollars vs euros) and incremented consistently. Ed Cook, Ph.D., is president of the consulting firm The Change Decision and a visiting professor at the University of Richmond.

Data visualization is the process of creating graphical representations of information. This process helps the presenter communicate data in a way that’s easy for the viewer to interpret and draw conclusions. For more tips, read 10 Best Practices for Effective Dashboards. Before finalizing a data visualization, it’s important to test it with actual users. This will help ensure that the visualization is effective in communicating the story you want to tell. An effective data visualization makes use of visual hierarchy to direct the viewer’s attention to the most important information.

Use the Data Visualization Checklist

When you map out business processes, data flows, systems, and so on, improved visual designs can help your team to more easily diagnose issues, communicate across departments, and build or update systems. Interactive data visualization enables direct actions on a graphical plot to change elements and link between multiple plots. They have been devoted to the general topics of data visualization, information visualization and https://globalcloudteam.com/ scientific visualization, and more specific areas such as volume visualization. In 1786, William Playfair published the first presentation graphics. Data visualization is closely related to information graphics, information visualization, scientific visualization, exploratory data analysis and statistical graphics. In the new millennium, data visualization has become an active area of research, teaching and development.

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