Top 7 Tips for Data Visualization
How many times have you missed out on key business opportunities due to lack of right data? Or misjudged a particular scenario because a key data point was missed? Data visualization helps stakeholders makes sense of data generated by the analytics engine. Without smart data visualization, business-critical data points would never see the light of day, leaving decision makers scrambling for the right actionable intelligence.
But we don’t need to tell you all this. What you really want to know is how to make the most of data visualization tools at your disposal. So here’s a list of top 10 data visualization tips that will make data discovery easy, fast and efficient.
- Simplicity is Key: Before you take the dive, decide which data points are relevant and which ones you can do without. The visualization of the output will be clutter-free and easy to interpret if you discard unrelated data points, making it easier for you to understand your data.
- Don’t try to make your data “pretty”: When data visualizing, focus on elements that will allow easy data discovery and interpretation, rather than the ones that will make the presentation look “pretty”. You might prefer an element that is aesthetically pleasing but doesn’t showcase the critical insights and key figures.
- Go for layers: Using layers to represent different data points will allow you not only to make the data more story-based and communicative, but will also prevent the end-user from becoming overwhelmed. For layering, rely on drill downs, links and shortcuts for easy data discovery and navigation.
- Talk to stakeholders: Who is the end-user? The stakeholder(s), who are supposed to interpret the data and make business decisions. Sit down with them and learn what they want out of the final report. This will allow for goal-based data visualization, and you will end up giving the stakeholders what they want and improve the business decision making process.
- What is the viewing device?: When designing data visualization elements, know on which device the stakeholder will be viewing the data. Is it a mobile, a tablet or a laptop? A data visualization designed for a laptop might now come out right on a mobile or a tablet for that matter and vice versa. The design should work equally well across all device platforms.
- Select the right chart: All data visualization charts are not the same. Choose the chart most capable of presenting the kind of data you have. Selecting the wrong data chart will make the information less impactful and might hide key data points the stakeholder is looking for.
- Don’t go crazy with the colors: Colors are an effective way to highlight the difference between data points and aid in faster data discovery. However, when used with abandon, they can have the opposite effect. For example, it is ok to use bright colors to highlight the most important aspects of a report, but using bright colors all over can make the stakeholder lose focus and miss out on a key insight.
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