Michael Herman

Software Developer

Charting Best Practices - Proper Data Visualization

Charting data and determining business progress is an important part of measuring success. From recording financial statistics to webpage visitor tracking, finding the best practices for charting your data is vastly important for your company’s success. Here is a look at five charting best practices for optimal data visualization and analysis.

Arrange Data in a Clean, Presentable Manner

To optimize your chart’s readability and presentation, it is vital that you present your data in a clean and easy to read format. Avoid putting too much data on your chart, ensure that your variables are labeled clearly and decisively, and organize your data in a strategic format. For instance, you could have your variables organized from smallest to largest if you are comparing sales figures, or if you are monitoring figures over a length of time, make sure that your chart is in chronological order. Presenting a clean and easily read chart will only improve your ability to analyze your data more effectively.

Identify the Right Type of Chart for Your Data

One chart will not meet all of your business needs. It is important to use the chart that will most effectively organize your data and boost your ability to analyze and record data in the future. For example, if you are analyzing revenue totals across a time frame, a line graph may be best for you. Meanwhile, if you are running figures on trends and trying to determine a percentage breakdown for popular opinion a pie chart may be most effective. There are a variety of different charts you can use. To maximize your research’s effectiveness, it is vital that you select the right type of chart.

Determine What Vital Information Should Be Captured in Your Chart

Most businesses run many reports that they obtain data from. Although you may have to keep track of a variety of data, it is important to keep your reporting clean and charts highly visual and readable. Determine what vital information belongs on your chart. Organization is key to maintaining clean charts and allowing you to effectively analyze data in the future. Keep only what you need on your chart, you can always create separate ones for different metrics (and you should!). On a similar note, it is important to remove unnecessary data from your chart. Keep it clean and concise to allow users to easily read the data they need, without having to filter or delete fields at a later time.

Create Charts with Vibrant Color Coding to Assist in Data Visualization

Creating charts with vibrant colors and bolded fonts allows users to easily and effectively analyze your chart in less time. It has also been proven that vibrant charts and presentations keep the users more engaged than boring, flat data charts and slides. Engage your audience with vivid charts that read easy and are cleanly presented.

Keep Your Language Simple

While you may be aiming to impress your audience with impressive statistics and a thorough presentation, it should be said that your chart should include language that is easy to understand. Your chart is no place for adverbs or expressive language. Label your chart clearly and simply, making it easy to read and view.

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