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Business LibreTexts

21.6: Data Visualisation

  • Page ID
    43339
  • In the Data-driven decision making chapter, we discussed the importance of reporting on data and making sure that the information gets to the right users, in the right way. Not everyone is adept at understanding a detailed financial breakdown, and analytics reports often intimidate people, so how can a data-focused marketer present information in a way that’s accessible to everyone?

    The answer lies in data visualisation, which involves placing data in a visual context to help users understand it. Data visualisation software can help demonstrate patterns and trends that might be easily missed in purely text-based data reporting. It can refer to something as simple as an infographic, or something as complex as a multi-point interactive program that lets users decide what to compare.

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    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Traditional graphs and charts to represent data. Adapted From Public Tableau, 2017
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    Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\): Representing data in different ways Adapted From Public Tableau, 2017
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    Figure \(\PageIndex{3}\): Clever use of the layout of a clock and plotting points for representing what Americans spend their time doing each day Adapted From Scribble Live, 2015
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    Figure \(\PageIndex{4}\): Word clouds are becoming popular ways to visualise data, where the size of the word represents its importance or frequency Adapted From Peekaboo, 2012

    Many data visualisation online are also interactive. Visit this link to see an interactive data visualisation about voting habits of Americans: https:// www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/06/10/upshot/voting-habits-turnoutpartisanship.html

    For a good lesson in data visualisation, including how to start using it, check out this article from SAS: Data Visualization: What it is and why it matters - https:// www.sas.com/en_za/insights/big-data/data-visualization.html.

    It can be challenging to decide on what data you want to visualise and the information you want to communicate, but as long as you know how your audience is likely to process visual information and what they need to know, you should be able to choose something that conveys the necessary information simply.

    Note

    For some tips on how to begin with data visualisation, take a quick look at some tools and some more resources on the topic. The Guardian actually has a remarkably useful article: https:// www.theguardian.com/ global-developmentprofessionalsnetwork/2014/ aug/28/interactiveinfographicsdevelopment-data