In order to implement the best practices for your business, you must first discover them. Data visualization is an increasingly popular tool that turns large, complex sets of data into simple, powerful stories.
Experience the clear communication that comes from utilizing one of the many data visualization types at your disposal. The data speaks for itself — you just have to translate it. Let’s break things down by which data visualization examples will be most beneficial to you and your business.
1. Area Charts
A classic data visualization tool that helps users gain insight on important issues is a static area chart, which uses different shades to depict various data points on multiple axes. If you are working with a smaller data set in excel, this type of chart is a great way to communicate your ideas with clarity and ease. Below is a video that utilizes several area charts to discuss taxes and other financial data.
Finance can be difficult to understand, not only because there are so many numbers involved but also because the data points frequently intertwine. This visual form allows the viewer to understand each number as part of a whole, thereby contextualizing what would be just numbers on a page without data visualization.
2. Tree Maps
Pie charts, funnel charts, and area charts are part of a family of chart types representing various quantitative data points as they relate to others, allowing for immediate comparative data analysis as soon as you lay eyes on the visual. Another type of visual in this family is a tree map.
Let’s look at the United States’ national budget as an example of the simplicity with which this common type of data visualization presents the dataset. Would you rather read a 150-page document that lays out the government’s spending in what feels like a secret code of legal jargon or look at a colorful page of different sized, clickable boxes?
Data visualization gives viewers of all ages and educational backgrounds the chance to understand the same information. Regardless of who you present information to (be it your employees or board of investors), it’s important to show them visual storytelling that easily conveys the key points you’re making.
3. Line Charts
A line chart or line graph is an effective visualization method that uses a line to show how a data value on the vertical axis correlates to a data value on the horizontal axis. This method of data presentation can create an evocative, dramatic story arc. This interactive visualization of data from 2015 poses the question, “what’s warming the world?”
By answering a series of questions with a series of line charts, this article not only presents a large amount of data in a short amount of time, but it also tells a story. Such is the beauty of presenting numeric values with any visual chart type: it packs a great punch in a short period of time.
4. Bubble Charts
A bubble chart is a unique type of visual that has the capacity to show outliers in a way that other chart types do not. Each specific value lies on a scatter plot, and each bubble is a different sized dot that correlates to the amount that that dot represents. To see this data visualization in action, look at this bubble chart of Forbes’ Top 50 Sports Franchises by Longevity and Success.
Clusters of bubbles indicate patterns, and the outliers become clear. This type of chart can incorporate many variables into one cohesive unit, while a pie chart or bar chart would not have done the trick for a dataset; this varied.
5. Bar Charts
Whether you use a horizontal bar chart or a vertical column chart, this common type of data visualization might be the best way to communicate the relationship between categorical variables. This spiraling, location-based bar graph of an 1854 outbreak of Cholera led to the discovery of the cause: the area with the most infections drew water from the same well. As far back as the nineteenth century, people used data visualization to solve problems. Suddenly a simple bar chart doesn’t seem so simple, does it?
Visual representation is the language of data. Data visualization simplifies complex sets of big data into clear, captivating stories, allowing the data set to speak for itself. These common types of data visualization not only create a memorable data presentation but also leave a long-lasting impact on individuals and companies alike.
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