Data Visualization

How Can You Better Collect and Organize Data to Support Visualization?Data Visualization

  • Collect data at the lowest level of granularity as possible
  • Determine how data elements are collected and are related to each other
  • Understand who and how institutional data is currently governed
  • Map changes to data elements, collection methods, and governance across relevant time periods
  • Identify opportunities to “close” open text elements

What Visual Is Most Appropriate for Your Data?

Understanding how your data is structured can eliminate certain design options.
Interactive version @

Visual Vocabulary

How Can You Develop Visualizations That Respect Visual Perception of Information?

Design Objectives

  • Accurate representation
  • Facilitates accurate and quick understanding
  • Memorable
  • Appropriate amount of data/context


    • Orientation
    • Shape/Symbols
    • Line length
    •  Line width
    • Size

    • Hue
    • Tint – amount of white
    • Shade - amount of black
    • Colorfulness as compared to gray
    • Saturation/Brightness –
      amount of gray


    • Curvature
    • Enclosure
    • Spatial position
    • Motion
    • Texture

Selecting Color Palette

  • Color-blind
  • Perceptual ordering/categories
  • Captures nuances of variations
  • Conveys gradients
  • Displays uncertainty when relevant
  • Works across mediums

    color palette map example

Focusing Intended Users’ Focustimeline

  • Understand what your end-users will focus their attention on based on their role, interest, expertise, and familiarity with data and relevant issues.
  • Every element you add to the page or screen takes up a cognitive load on the end-user
  • Does your design reflect what areas you want the end-user to focus their attention

How Should You Start?

Tools & Platforms

Beginner Intermediate Jedi
Power BI
Google Data Studio


For more information on this topic, read our blog post.

Related Posts: