Data Visualisation Best Practices

Data is everywhere, it’s to the 21st century what oil was in the 20th century. There is so much data in fact that in recent surveys data scientist, data analyst and business analyst were ranked as the most well paid and desirable jobs of 2020. But all this data is useless if it can’t be read, understood or visualised. Here we’d like to offer you some simple tips on how to improve your data visualisation and allow your audience to see through the haze and glean the vital incite it holds.

Directly Label Data Points

This may seem basic, but a surprising number of analysts forget it, even when presenting to clients. Every visual element that encodes data should be clearly labelled. Many designers rely on legends for this task; however, these can be hard on the eyes of the viewer an alternative to this is to label the data series directly on the chart.

Design for your Audience

Visualisation reveals the context and relationship between the data sets.  A designer must take into account the audience he is displaying to when visualizing the data. They must ask themselves, what language to use, what graphs to use how much of the data to display. This will vary from audience to audience.

Use Interactivity

This is a controversial point in data visualisation. We are of the opinion that interactivity should definitely be used, we recommend using it sparingly. Key data should never be hidden behind interactive elements as studies have shown this to be distracting and that it takes away from the power of the data. Interactive is best when used to integrate extra pieces of data into a display or visualisation.

We hope you find these tips helpful in your next data visualisation. Remember your data should always tell a story and when in doubt keep it simple. Best of luck guys.