Visualization Technique – Data visualization techniques have come far, with many different chart types and styles available. So how do you know which type of chart to use? It all depends on the data you’re attempting to display and the message you want your viewers to take away from it.
Here are some of the most common data visualization techniques for data visualization.
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What Is Visualization?
Data visualization refers to the graphic representation of data. It allows us to see patterns, trends, and outliers that we might not be able to see if we were just looking at a raw data set.
Data visualization can be a potent tool for conveying information when used correctly. It can help simplify complex data sets and make them more understandable at a glance.
One way to make your data visualization more engaging is to use the right chart type. Different charts will be more effective depending on the data you’re trying to visualize.
Making Data Accessible
Ensuring that the data is accessible to everyone who needs it means creating visualizations that are easy to understand and interpret. There are a few different ways to do this, and the best method to make your data user-friendly will vary depending on the kind of data you’re conveying.
In business, time is money. So the faster you can get insights from your data, the better. Data visualization is a way to take data and turn it into a picture you can understand at a glance.
10 Essential Data Visualization Techniques for Your Projects
Visualizing data can be one of the most effective ways to present information to others in an engaging and accessible way. Communicating this data with your audience helps them better understand their business or organization or even makes them consider issues from a new perspective.
Here are ten essential data visualization techniques to utilize in your projects.
Understand the Specifications of Your Data
Data specification includes the type of data, the range of values, and any patterns or trends that may be present. Knowing what type of chart will best convey the message you are trying to send through your visual representation is also essential.
Set Your Goals
Have a clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve. Whether it’s persuading people, explaining something, or simply telling a story, knowing your goal will help you determine the data visualization technique that would work best for your project.
Be sure to create an outline before diving into design and development so that you can keep track of the different points and make edits as needed.
Consider Your Audience
It’s important to consider who your audience is when creating data visualizations. After all, the whole point is to communicate information in a way that’s easy for them to understand.
Depending on your audience, you might want to use different techniques or emphasize various aspects of your data. If you’re designing graphics for other designers, they’ll be more interested in how the design looks than how well it communicates specific details.
You can use colors and shading to indicate changes between categories instead of drawing attention to individual items and their values.
Utilize Color Theory
Use color to organize data and make it more digestible for the viewer. Different colors indicate different meanings, so choosing a color scheme that makes sense for your data is essential. You can also use color to highlight patterns or relationships in your data.
For example, if you’re mapping poverty rates across the country, you might map counties with higher poverty rates in red while leaving counties with lower poverty rates in green. The county borders then serve as an additional visualization tool.
Select a Suitable Chart Type
When it comes to data visualization, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The chart you use will depend on the data you’re working with, your preferences, and your project goals. There are many different charts, but here are a few popular ones:
Charts that use digits are great for showing comparisons or trends. You can use them to show how two things are related or how something has changed over time.
Bar charts compare data points across different categories. For example, you could use a bar chart to compare product sales figures. Bar charts are easy to interpret and can be used to communicate complex data sets.
Bar charts are also great for comparing aspects of a single category, such as male and female sports performance. The downside to bar charts is that they have limited space on the page, so they may not be best suited for visualizing more than 10 bars or categories.
A pie chart is an excellent choice to show how different parts make a whole. For example, you could use a pie chart to show the market share for different types of products. You can also compare items by looking at the sizes of their corresponding slices.
A map is a great way to show data that covers a large geographical area. A map can show population density, average temperatures, or precipitation levels. When choosing a map, you should consider the type of data you want to visualize and the geographical area you want to cover.
A gauge chart comprises a semi-circle split into sections representing a percentage of data that is easy to understand and compare at a glance. Use colors to customize the units to represent different ranges, for instance, red for poor, yellow for average, and green for good.
A funnel chart is an excellent way to show how a process works, especially when multiple steps are involved. You can use a funnel chart to ascertain how many leads you generated in a given period, how many converted into customers, and so on.
It’s also a good option for showing conversion rates and the percentage of prospects that convert to actual sales opportunities. If you have more than one step, the primary focus should be at the top, with the subsequent steps below.
Manipulate Size and Placement to Your Benefit
By making strategic choices about how you manipulate size and placement, you can guide your audience to the most important conclusions. Try adding more visual cues to a chart by increasing the size of certain graphs or adding arrows pointing toward notable features on a map.
Conversely, sometimes it’s better to minimize distractions by turning things down or moving them off-screen. You can direct viewers to see what you want them to by tweaking visual cues. If you do your job right, they’ll be able to draw meaningful conclusions without ever noticing that you squeezed your charts or maps.
Use 3D Assets
3D assets can help your data pop and make it more engaging for your audience. Plus, it’s a great way to add an extra dimension to your project. There are tons of free resources, including Google Blocks, Tinkercad, and Sculpteo.
Even if you don’t have any experience with 3D modeling or CAD software, you’ll be able to create something beautiful with relative ease. Since your data will get an entirely new look once modeled in three dimensions, it’s worth learning how these techniques work.
Use Ordering, Layout, and Hierarchy
Using ordering, layout, and hierarchy to prioritize information will help ensure that the most crucial information gets seen first, making it easier for viewers to understand—sort objects by size or weight and sequence data points in descending or ascending values.
Arranging shapes on a grid based on their similarities helps with data prioritization. Layouts and hierarchies can also come into play as you determine what type of graph best fits your data set.
Limit Your Text
Keeping text to a minimum allows your audience to focus on the data rather than getting lost in words. They should be able to understand what they’re looking at without needing you to explain everything.
If you need additional explanation, consider adding a pop-up window accessible by clicking or tapping and not just by scrolling up or down. Restricting your text makes it easier for your audience to interact with and explore your data visualizations while saving screen space.
Choose Powerful Visualization Software
No matter what type of data you’re working with, choosing a powerful visualization software to help you make the most of your information is essential. Many different visualization software options are available, but not all are created equal.
Look for software that is easy to use and that offers cross-platform integrations so you can access your data from anywhere. Additionally, find out if the software allows you to create customized visualizations that meet your needs.
Choose software flexible enough to handle any project size or complexity level. Finally, look for something free or has a cost-effective monthly subscription model rather than paying one large sum upfront for lifetime access.
Visualizing data can make it easier to understand, especially when the data has complex relationships. Many different data visualizations are available for other purposes based on the data you want to display.
Using some of the best Qlik Sense extensions, you can create beautiful visuals that show patterns and trends within your data that might not be so obvious from just reading numbers alone.