Mahdollisimman yksinkertainen on tehokasta, ainakin datan visualisoinissa! Mitä vähemmän aivot joutuvat tekemään työtä vertailtaessa kaavioita tai kuvia, sen parempi. Datan visualisoinnin tarkoitus on havainnollistaa tietoa ja auttaa katsojaa ymmärtämään numeerista dataa helposti. Keräsin alle vinkkejä datan visualisointiin, jotta saat jatkossa enemmän irti kaavioistasi.
As an Annalect infographics designer I want to give you some tips and tricks to improve the quality of your business visualizations right away. My examples are made with Excel, so don’t worry, you don’t need any fancy and expensive software to make these.
Data visualization is today a very trendy topic. Generally, visualizing data and making it more approachable for audience is really a good idea. However data visualization and infographics aren’t about data decoration. They’re about communicating better and helping to make better decisions.
The Horrible Example
Here you can see typical business pie charts. The idea here is to compare sales between two years. This type of visualization doesn’t work properly. You have to memorize the labels, compare areas of pie between two 3d charts. There is a lot of eye movement involved. To make sense of the data is taking a lot of brainpower. Good thumb rule is that you should use pie chart only when you have two pieces of pie (yes/no polls are good example).
The Better Example
Good design is about knowing how our brain works. People are bad at comparing areas (especially in 3d) but better at comparing lengths and positions.
Here you can see the traditional way to overcome these flaws. In bar chart we can compare lengths of the bar and see easily differences. Bar chart almost always works as long as there are not too many series in comparison.
Bar charts are easy to make and usually good option for data communication.
The Best and Unique Examples
The goal in chart visualization is to make sense of the data, not to be remembered for beautiful design. However appealing aesthetics can come as a good bonus. People will remember something unique they have seen.
Lines are really powerful way to link things together. Here we connect different years by the line and color.
Some people claim that you can only use line chart on timeline. I disagree with this. Angles and slopes on line chart is interesting way to communicate different aspects on data.
The example above is basically standard excel line chart with some visual fixes. Not too colorful but at least something different and appealing. Let’s try something else with the lines.
Slope graph is one of my favorite ways to visualize differences between two dates. As you can see, it’s good way to compare rankings between the products. I really recommend choosing different color or/and stroke width to make the most important thing to pop up. People are eager to see the single most important thing first.
Slope graph is all about angle of the line. I made this example with Excel line chart tool.
And here is the final chart, the dumbbell chart. You may find these charts used as normal bar charts and that is really fine. Here the line binds two dates together. The focus is on difference between dates. So the choice between graphs should be based on what aspect of the data you want to focus on.
This dumbbell chart is made using bubble chart tool in Excel.
Good data visualizations release our brain processing power to making better decisions. Bad visualizations force you to make sense of the data. Choice between different kind of visualizations should be based on what kind of data you have and what aspect of the data you want to emphasize. Data visualization is the ultimate tool to make sense of the larger data set.
If you want to see further data visualizations and my views on the topic of data visualization please visit website https://infograafikko.fi. The content is in Finnish but the language of graphical content is universal. In addition, you can also check out my colleague Marjut’s blog post on the same topic.