Data Visualisation Techniques
Whether you opt for bubble graphs, bar charts, heat maps or treemaps, you can rest assured in the knowledge that scientific research is on your side. Of course, the text has its inescapable time and place, but when we consider that as much as 90% of information transferred to the human brain is visual, with images being processed 60,000 times faster than text, good data visualisation is a must for businesses wanting to deliver an easily digestible story to their audience.
A content strategist’s hunt for new and innovative ways to present data in visually appealing ways is never-ending. With that being said, let’s take a look at some effective data visualisation techniques that are worth bearing in mind during your next big campaign.
1. Inspiration: You Are Not Alone
So, some good news… sourcing data and creating an effective piece of data visualisation (data vis) to go with it doesn’t necessarily require suffering in silence. The website informationisbeautiful.net is one fantastic Pinterest-esque tool at your fingertips, filled with creative data vis inspiration and guidance.
2. Data Visualisation Tools
In a similar vein, be sure to explore the available online tools which are there to help you visualise your data in minutes. Such examples include:
· Allows you to copy and paste from Google Sheets, Excel, CSV files.
· Allows you to link to URLs to create customisable charts.
· Allows you to preview the chart before you go ahead and publish it.
· Allows you to copy and paste the relevant data directly from your spreadsheet.
· Allows you to choose a data vis type, with adjustable metrics.
· Includes a blog full of useful tips well worth checking out.
3. Don’t Overcomplicate Things
Good data vis should simplify a message, making things easier to understand. Despite this, it’s incredibly common for people to associate increasingly complex graphs with higher quality. After wading through numerous eyesores on the ‘ugly charts’ section of the highly recommended website flowingdata.com I stumbled across this example highlighting why, in fact, the reality is often the exact opposite.
1. Mobile Friendly
Designing for mobile phones is a great opportunity to present data in new interesting ways.
· Stack your data vertically rather than horizontally and introduce a zoomable visual.
· Scale down the graphic.
· Create an entirely new graphic, focusing only on the critical insights (with the desktop version providing more context).
2. Choose Wisely
The type of data vis you choose is certainly no stab in the dark. Of course, a specific data vis will suit certain data, but when it comes to a (not-quite) one-size-fits-all choice, you can often not go too far wrong using maps, not least due to their ability to open up outreach targets. Furthermore, including an index may well be of use when dealing with lots of different metrics in your data, as is the case for interactivity, but remember to keep in mind the old adage of ‘less is more.’
By carefully taking this all into account, that next big campaign should be rooted in success.
As always from the team at Byter, good luck!