Tips for Effective Data Visualization

While displaying percentages, always make sure that they add up to a 100% or explain why and what’s being excluded.


Figures don’t lie, but lairs figure!Visuals should reflect reality and not distort it.

Formatting of the chart plays an important role as it sets up a frame of reference for the audience.

 In the example below, the yield of a process increased from 56% to 67% over a period of 6 months.

Chart to the left is trying to overstate the improvement by formatting the y-axis to start at 50%.

The latter visuals paints an accurate picture where y-axis starts off at 0 and also includes a goal line.

Figures don’t lie.

liars figure!4.

Use color wiselyUse of color should be made to add more information or to highlight key data points in a visual.

In all other cases, it’s redundant and distracting.

This article by Lisa Charlotte Rost has several pointers to consider while choosing a color scheme for your visuals.

I would also recommend trying the Viz Palette tool developed by Susie Lu and Elijah Meeks.


How important are aesthetics as compared to functionality?Visualization tools available today allow us to create most stunning and rich visuals in a few mouse clicks.

However, over-doing the aesthetic elements may distract people from the key message of the visuals.

One of the seven wastes in the Lean philosophy is ‘Over-processing’.

Any other tips that might prevent visualization blunders?.Feel free to comment below!.. More details

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