Skip to main content

Data Visualization

Learn about best practices and tools to visualize data using charts and maps.

Planning a Visualization

Steps for Creating a Visualization

1. Know your data & purpose. Know how each variable was measured and have some hypotheses about what you might see.
  ♦  It is helpful to make sure your data is clean and error free.
  ♦  Decide whether you are trying to find patterns or tell a story to the reader (Cole Nussbaumer Knaffic)

2. Pick a chart type that best accomplishes your purpose, given the data you have.
  ♦  Each chart type uses different visual properties to encode the data, like points, lines, bars, or boxes
  ♦  Chart Choosers can help with this. Sketch out your visualization on paper before trying to create it on a computer.

3. Choose the software or tool you will use to create your visualization.
  ♦  If you are using secondary data, check if your data source has built-in visualization tools.

4. Refine your visualization according to best practices and your purpose. 
  ♦  You often need to adjust the axes, add labels, change colors, or add or remove chart elements to create the ideal chart.

Guides

Start Here

Rules & Principles

Overviews

Other People's Recommendations: