Three Considerations for Planning Data Visualisations

by Charlie Daffern

During the first week of DS7, Caroline Beavon came in to teach us all about info-graphics. As well as giving us the opportunity to practice some beautiful drawing skills, this day was full of transferable tips that are useful regardless of the medium you’re using to present your data. Here I’m going to give you a quick run-down of the three considerations that she outlined for use when planning a data visualisation project.

#1 AIM
What is your message? Are you trying to demonstrate a point, explain a concept, reassure or convince an audience? Think about the destination of your visualisation. Is it going to be print or digital? A report, a billboard, a website, a mobile app? These things will all affect what content and design choices you make in constructing your visualisation.

#2 AUDIENCE
Who is the visualisation for? Think about the demographic, literacy rates, numeracy rates, location, and level of prior knowledge.

#3 DATA
What data do you have? What extra data might you need? Are you able to ask for any extra data? Think about whether it would be useful for you to edit or aggregate your data, and about the ways in which you can boost your understanding.

So there you have it, three key things to consider before you crack on with your data analysis and visualisation!