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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

7 Easy Guidelines for Higher Information Visualization — SitePoint

On this article, I’ll share my high suggestions for efficient knowledge visualization, which may be simply applied to make your knowledge simpler to know and consider.

Information performs a major position in fashionable enterprise processes and has change into an important component in our on a regular basis decision-making. Whether or not we’re presenting knowledge to help our selections, or consuming knowledge offered by others, efficient knowledge visualization is essential to creating sense of all of it.

As an information analyst, I’ve at all times been obsessed with knowledge visualization, always searching for methods to speak knowledge in a extra accessible and comprehensible method.

Nonetheless, I’ve additionally seen firsthand how neglecting primary guidelines of knowledge visualization could make your knowledge obscure and even deceptive.

The ideas supplied on this article are easy but important. They aid you lay a robust basis for efficient knowledge visualization earlier than you progress on to extra superior methods.

Use Graphs Every time Attainable

Graphs are a robust approach to current knowledge. As a substitute of presenting knowledge in plain textual content or tables, strive changing it to a graph. This may make the information rather more digestible and simpler to know. There are lots of kinds of graphs, together with bar charts, line charts, and pie charts, so make sure you select the one which most closely fits your knowledge.

text information alongside a bar graph

Make Your Information Seen

If you happen to can’t use graphs to current your knowledge, be certain to make use of bullet factors and make your knowledge seen. To make your knowledge seen, you should utilize daring font, change font measurement, and use commas to separate massive numbers in 1000’s.

Don’t be afraid to spotlight your most necessary numbers and make them very large.

A paragraph converted to a list, with money figures in bold

Pie Charts Aren’t All the time the Finest Choice

Pie charts have lengthy been a preferred software for knowledge visualization, however their effectiveness can depend upon the character of the information being offered. Whereas they’re nice for displaying knowledge with two classes, pie charts can change into exhausting to interpret when there are greater than three classes concerned.

Regardless of their limitations, pie charts can clearly illustrate which class is essentially the most dominant when used appropriately. For instance, take the next chart, which demonstrates the dominant gadget kind relating to visitors.

A pie chart of traffic by device type: 21% desktop, 79% mobile

The next pie chart is an efficient instance of how tough it may be to establish the best or lowest shares between classes when there are too many current in a single chart.

A pie chart divided into too many sections

Thus, in case your knowledge has greater than three classes, utilizing a unique kind of chart could be a greater answer.

Bar Charts Are Fairly Common

When unsure, a bar chart is often a secure alternative. They’re nice for presenting a number of knowledge in a transparent and concise method. Bar charts supply a robust various to pie charts, significantly when there are greater than three classes of knowledge. Ensure that to type your bar chart by the values you wish to spotlight.

A bar chart of traffic by state

Use Colours

Colours might help make your knowledge extra partaking and simpler to know. Use totally different colours to distinguish between classes or to spotlight necessary knowledge factors.

Nonetheless, watch out to not use too many colours, as this could make your graph look cluttered. As a substitute, we will differentiate between classes through the use of varied shades of the identical coloration. This may be an efficient method to make sure that the graph is straightforward to learn and never overcrowded. Moreover, coloration coding may be helpful for navigating by way of knowledge values.

Traffic by state bar chart colored only in shades of green

Use Colours Logically

When utilizing colours, be certain they make sense for the information you’re presenting. For instance, use purple for unfavorable knowledge factors and inexperienced for constructive ones.

Two versions of a bar chart, one in red and green to better indicate positive and negative values

Make Your Visualization Look Prepared

Make investments time in making your visualization look skilled and polished:

  • Use clear fonts and graphs which are appropriately sized to make sure readability.
  • Label your axes and knowledge factors clearly to assist your viewers perceive the knowledge being offered.
  • Think about altering default visualization settings to customized ones.
  • You can too customise your graphs with presentation templates, model colours, and fonts to make them visually interesting and constant together with your model id.

Two bar charts compared, one more clearly labeled than the other


Information visualization performs a significant position in making your knowledge straightforward to know and belief. By following these easy suggestions and methods, you may create interesting and sensible graphs that can help you in speaking knowledge extra clearly.

If you happen to loved this text, try Constructing Interactive Information Visualizations with D3.js and React and The Finest React Chart Libraries for Information Visualization in 2024.

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