Top data visualisation tools and tips

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Top data visualisation tools and tips
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Top data visualisation tips

Choose the right graphic for the data

If you're attempting to highlight a trend decrease, increase, drops in service which fit into a pattern or the distribution of services around the nation, you need to select the correct way of displaying data. Trend graphs, such as those that show profit increase or revenue decrease, should be displayed on a line graph that shows the upwards/downwards trend. Comparison data needs to appear side-by-side in order to highlight any trends and scatter graphs should be your go-to visualisation for distribution data.

Keep it simple!

Try to keep the visualisations simple - don't cram too much information into them. If it gets to the point where it's too complicated, try splitting the data into multiple charts or visualisations.

Additionally, you could also use colour, size and position of data to show what's the most important. The most important aspect is that your visualisation needs to be understood from a glance - your audience shouldn't need a PhD to decipher it.

Don't let the creative get the better of you

It may seem important that graphics look good but it's crucial that it makes sense and can be understood easily. Let the data do the work in a simple manner instead of investing your efforts into the way it's presented. In data visualisation, you shouldn't have to explain what's happening. If you spend too long obsessed with how it looks you will end up wasting precious energy and time. This completely goes against the purpose of the data in the first place.

Ensure there's a hierarchy

All data should have a hierarchy, highlighting the most important data and ignoring the data that doesn't matter (or at least, making it less dominant). Be ruthless and only show what's necessary or what illustrates your point.

This article originally appeared at IT Pro.

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