Tired of using the same charts? Here are some creative ways to visualise data
These examples will inspire you to display data in more innovative and insightful ways. Plus, I have some tips for you to jazz up the good old bar and pie charts.
For starters, this article is not going to go into storytelling and the whole “know your audience” kind of tips. Here, I’m going to focus on how to make your data visualisations more exciting while keeping them simple and insightful. If you want tips on how to put your data story together overall, I would recommend checking out my list of helpful articles on the topic.
Get away from the pie and bar, if it feels right
Let me start by saying I have nothing against pie and bar charts. In fact, later on, I’ll share some tips on how to give them a more modern look. Sometimes, they will do the job just fine and there is no need to use a super extravagant chart.
But I also think it’s useful to remember that other options do exist. If I’m putting a presentation together for an audience that is very used to reading data and is quite numerical, I do tend to try and explore more unusual types of charts, if they fit the purpose.
Colours speak a million words: get them right
A lot is said about minimalism in data visualisations. We’re constantly making sure there aren’t too many labels on the charts, or unnecessary gridlines and or numbers formated incorrectly. But we often forget to apply minimalism to a very key part of the composition of a chart: the colours.
This article talks in depth about how to apply colour harmony to data visualisations and explains further the use of the colour wheel. But I’d just like to pick out the most important things to remember when choosing the right colour for your visualisations.
Pick a palette and stick to it
First thing: choose the main colour that will set the tone for your presentation/dashboard and will be present in every slide/chart. When I’m presenting…