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Interactive data visualization No ratings yet.

Business data is one of the most powerful resources in the hands of any organization. It can be used to impress shareholders, build trust among customers, and even help the top management decide on future plans for the organization. However, the data needs to be presented in a format that is easy for viewers to absorb. Nothing short-circuits the attention span than viewing a sea of data embedded in a series of rows and columns. Enter data visualization techniques – in the form of charts and graphs.

Data visualization can help viewers make sense of almost any kind of data, provided the charts and graphs are well-built. The following tips can help a presenter or data analyst to display data in a better manner.

Using good data is crucial for building a great visual

Using good data is crucial for building a great visual

The data is the backbone of any visual, and as such, it makes sense to use high-quality data, at all times. Ideally, the data should be cleaned up (by eliminating null values and junk figures as much as possible) and organized (through filtering/sorting/grouping) to ensure it can yield an easily comprehensible chart.

Choosing the right kind of visualization creates greater impact

Choosing the right kind of visualization creates greater impact

Not every chart works well with every kind of records. One particular file set might look great when presented in a pie chart, while another might fit better into a stacked bar chart. Identifying the right kind of chart might take a bit of time and some trial-and-error, but the quality of the final visual makes it all worth it.

Labeling visuals is a good idea, as long as it is not overdone

Labeling visuals is a good idea, as long as it is not overdone

Using labels can help viewers to quickly understand the topic of a visual. However, care should be taken that a multitude of labels does not rob a chart/graph of its visual appeal. Also, legends should only be used when absolutely necessary; otherwise, it is often better to mention names of the relevant record fields on the chart itself.

Using design elements judiciously goes a long way in attracting attention

Using design elements judiciously goes a long way in attracting attention

Customizing colors of charts/graphs and putting text labels in bold fonts are nice ways of keeping viewers focused. Using complementary colors is especially effective in charts. However, care should be taken that the colors are not loud and overpowering. Also, it goes without saying that the colors of the different segments of the chart should not clash with the colors of the text labels.

On a final note, using file visualization tools to build charts is always a good idea, since such tools offer many options for customization or even data analysis. For instance, there are organizations that use collaboration platforms like Microsoft SharePoint to manage business data. For them, a third party chart web part might help in visualizing data better. Such web parts do not just help in building beautiful charts, but may also help them build interactive SharePoint dashboards to display multiple charts together on the same page.

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