We have never been surrounded by so much data. Within this deluge of data there lies an abundance of valuable information on how we do everything, from business, to government affairs and around our personal lives. To put data to good use, we must find ways to meaningfully explore, explain, and communicate the data.
We can achieve this through data visualisation.
Data visualisation is the creation and practice of the visual representation of data. It’s used to convert raw data into graphics by encoding the abstract data into visual information, using visual traits such as length, positioning, area, angle and so on. The goal of data visualisation is to represent numbers or other forms of abstract information in a visual way to communicate more effectively.
By visualising information, we can see patterns and connections that are relevant and then design that information so it makes more sense, or tells a story, allowing us to focus only on the information that’s important.
Good visualisation is designed to aid our understanding of data by leveraging the human visual system’s ability to see patterns, spot trends, and identify outliers. Well-designed visual representations can replace cognitive calculations with simple perceptual inferences and improve comprehension,insight, and decision-making.
Data visualisation helps you to isolate the signal from the noise
By making data more accessible and appealing, displaying data in the correct manner also helps to engage diverse audiences through exploration and analysis. The challenge is to create effective and engaging visualisations that are appropriate to the data. Displaying data- what’s the best way? What should we consider?
To address this, and following on from previous blog posts on displaying data over the past few months, we have produced an ebook about displaying data, which you can download here.
In this guide, we will show you some of the different types of charts used to communicate particular qualities from the data or to serve a function. We will explore the main functions charts can perform. This isn’t a comprehensive list and some charts have multiple functions, but for the sake of simplicity we will just focus on each chart’s main function. It’s a good start to help you on that visual voyage to unlock the value of your data.
We hope you enjoy it!