Creating data visualizations

Creating data visualizations

Data visualizations are my day-to-day task to display an idea/result in a memorable way. Creating a story that connects the main points makes easier for people to remember my idea.

Stages of creating data visualizations:

  • Identify the audience and the why of my report

When you know your audience, you will have a sense of what they are looking for. If the dashboard is interactive, I like to think about follow up questions the user may get when exploring the charts to decide which options enable. In that way, I have in mind the main point of my story.

• Explore data sets available
Having the right data is essential. In this stage I explore what transformations I need to do in format, how to link with other tables, how I can calculate metrics and how to have a clear data set that feeds the dashboard in an efficient way.

• Choosing the right chart type
I look for creative ways to display the information. I try to use maps, combos and bubbles chart. I usually explore plotting the data in several type of charts to compare which options better tells my story.

• Colors and space distributions
I find useful to explore UX websites where you can test color/fonts combinations that support my main point. I avoid over flooding the dashboard with information and align the graphs. I match the company’s colors.

• Testing and getting feedback from the audience
Having constant communication with the audience is crucial to update the design of the report including/excluding graph or highlighting key facts. Attention to details makes the presentation consistent and professional.

Summary

Dashboard creation is a cycle where the analyst is constantly updating data and adjusting the design depending on the user needs. Creativity, communication and accuracy are the key elements of creating effective dashboards.

Luz Elena Rodriguez

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