Art and data are both fascinating. I can spend hours in a art gallery or simply doodling; and having been a QA engineer for almost two decades (which I think I still am though not working actively as one currently), I love how we can use data to be informed and make things better. And that leads me to the fact that I truly love that we have so many options to help share your data visually.
Have you seen any of those infographics that show you interesting data, and are super cool to look at as well? To top that, some are interactive as well! That is what I am talking about – those varied data visualization options that vary from the obvious: graphs and pie-charts to others like scatter plots, and tree maps.
I know I have spent “some” time simply making updates to such interactive graphs to watch them change. It is fascinating! But sometimes I simply look at these pieces of art that are actually data in reality. They teach and inform and empower you while being stunningly beautiful!
Using more visuals to share your data and content will definitely help to promote your blog. So today, I will give you a beginner’s (mine) look into data visualization and share some bookish data too!
A Beginner’s Guide to Data Visualization
What is Data Visualization?
Data visualization is the graphical representation of data using elements like charts, graphs, and maps. This abstracts the data into an accessible form for the audience, making it easier to process information and get clarity about the data.
Data Visualization vs Infographics
If you are thinking, “what about infographics?” note that infographics are a superset of data visualizations; while one might be confused with the other, they are not the same. Data visualizations can be a part of infographics (and often are), but not the other way around. Check out this post to read more about what an infographic is.
Data visualizations translate datasets into an easy-to-understand visual medium while infographics are used for visual storytelling and include a smart combination of text, illustrations, and data visualizations
Data Visualization Types
Like I mentioned earlier, there are many ways to present or share your data visually, and gain more exposure to it. Check out this post or this one to find out more about each of these listed below; along with when to use each type and pros and cons. Here are some:
- Bar graphs
- Column charts
- Pie charts
- Bubble charts
- Scatter Plot Chart
Tools to Share Your Data Visually
Here are some of the tools that can help you create and share your data visually. I realized I already use(d) a couple of them, while others are new to me. I have since registered for a couple of them and plan to use them actively (I am trying them out currently). And I just need to find one or two that fit my needs. Note that this is not all inclusive by any standards, and there are many more tools. So feel free to explore to check which one is for you.
- Canva (free; has paid options)
- Tableau Public (free; Tableau also offers other paid options)
- Visme (free – limited projects; paid options start at $15/month)
- Easel.ly (free, Pro account starts at $2/month)
- Venngage (free – limited projects; paid options start at $16/month)
- Datawrapper (free; has premium paid options)
- Piktochart (free – limited projects; paid options start at $24.17/month)
- Infog.ram (free – limited projects; paid option start at $19/month)
- and more
What Kind Of Content Works With Each Option
Actually, any! Almost every post has some sort of visual side to it and having a visual depiction helps adds flair to promote posts via more social media options many of which rely solely on visuals. (Note that I am just talking about blog posts here; I have linked a couple of external posts that talk about what to use where in the Data Visualization Types section above)
But here are some post types that will definitely be served better with a dish of visualization (pun intended)! Most often, you will end up using infographics that consist of one or more data visualizations (a bar graph or pie chart or a map) as part of your blog post.
- List Posts: You could use infographics to create the lists themselves, like I did with this one here. [You can also check out a timeline infographic for a different post here)
- “Newsy” Posts: The visual depiction will depend on the news being shared; but the possibilities are endless.
- Data-rich Posts (duh!): They could be the newsy posts above too, but can also include studies or research posts you have. These usually have lots of data and statistics and lend themselves to dat visualization beautifully!
- And more….
Looking at all these tools and what we can do with them definitely inspires me to use them more.
The Infographic For This Post!
(Note: Used Canva here; and picked up an existing template for this but in retrospect, should have started from scratch and done it myself. Will update this later with a new and improved one)
h/t (for all above sections)
Here are a few posts I loved going through that I think you will enjoy too:
- 15 Data Visualizations That Will Blow Your Mind
- The 10 best data visualization blogs to follow
- Data is beautiful: 10 of the best data visualization examples from history to today
- Data Visualization Types: Everything a Marketer Needs to Know
- And this interesting infographic of infographics
My Example Data Visualization
Here is a simple data visualization I tried. The simplest sort – a bar chart – with data from Wikipedia – about books published in a year by country.
First Attempt: Realized I could do it a different way to make sense of it after this.
Second attempt is WIP!
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, do you or have you used any of these tools? Are you intrigued enough to try any of the tools? Any cool visuals or infographics that have grabbed your attention? Do let me know; and remember – all and any comments and suggestions on this post are truly welcomed.