With practically every organization relying on big data now in some way, it’s crucial to make sure all the right people can understand the insights derived from data analysis as quickly and simply as possible. After all, it will be hard to implement better business processes at an organizational level if only a few data science experts and analysts actually understand what all the data means. This is where data visualization comes in.
People are much better at interpreting visuals than they are at combing through large data sets. Whether you’re using graphs, infographics, bar charts, or other graphic design options, viewers will comprehend insights much better with the right presentation. Interactive visualizations are even better since these can give an overall impression of multiple data sets in one convenient dashboard. Of course, interactive data visualizations aren’t always easy to make. Here are some tips to help make sure you get it right.
1. One size doesn’t fit all.
The first step you should take toward your data visualizations is to choose the right format. You probably wouldn’t want to use a scatter chart to plot every data point you need to present, for example. You need to make sure that the format is actually answering questions generated by your data and that it’s keeping things interesting. Remember, visuals are really all about telling a coherent story.
Bar charts are a good choice for data that needs to be split into multiple categories, but histograms tend to be better at showing data clusters. Of course, maps are the natural fit for geographic data, and line graphs are great for making connections to seemingly disparate points of data.
2. Use color effectively.
Color is an incredibly important element of any presentation, but you need to make sure that you’re using it simply and in a way that makes sense for your data. The best data visualizations stick to using just a few colors to avoid overwhelming the audience. One popular method is to use the “cold to hot” color scheme to represent your data.
For example, if you were using a CRM system to track customer satisfaction with your business, you could use cool colors to represent the percentage of customers who are still unsatisfied and, therefore, moving away from your goal. Conversely, warm colors would show the percentage of satisfied customers in line with your company goals.
3. Don’t let animation distract from your meaning.
While it’s often tempting to incorporate animations in visuals, they should only be included if they actually enhance your point. A good use of animation could be to transition from a visualization of last year’s data to this year’s or to emphasize how things have changed since the last quarter. If the animation makes the data visualization needlessly complicated or if it fails to enhance the massage, then it really doesn’t need to be there.
4. Use shapes and designs to add context.
Data visualizations may come off as boring if there’s nothing on the dashboard except for the graphs, charts, and maps themselves. You can use images to add context to each visualization. Beyond using your company logo, you could use pictures and symbols to represent customers, sales agents, board members, or anything else that enhances the presentation.
If you need high-quality designs, check out lucidpress.com. They create a wide variety of visuals including Instagram templates for social media, branded visual content, banners, and more. Their vision is to help clients put their best foot forward and have their messages consistently understood. No matter what type of data visualization you’re working on, LucidPress can help you add the final touches to leave a lasting impact on your audience.
5. Organization is crucial.
Once you have all the design elements of your visuals together, you’ll need to follow organizational best practices to really get your message home. Generally speaking, the most important information should be placed at the top of your data visualization, and you’ll work your way down with your supporting information. If you’re going to use text, try to use it sparingly, and get it out of the way first, since too much can easily overwhelm your audience.