Whether you’re trying to shorten your business meetings (visualized data shortens meetings by 24%), not rely on your IT tech team for understanding your data, or are trying to get your team to easily understand their analytics, data visualization is the tool you need. Excellent graphs and infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than plain text. Studies show that good visuals make data seem more credible, allow for a quicker jumps to consensus when data as evidence shown to make a decision, and it allows for a more efficient response time when there is a call-to-action attached to the data. If you’re not already using data visualization tools, you’re late to the game.
But part of the reason you may not be using data visualization tools is because you think you need specific and hard to learn skills to create great visuals. Another misconception around visualized data is that data visualization is just for numbers when in fact there are great tools to help convert your qualitative data into visualized data. Here’s a list of convenient tools to help you easily visualize your data immediately.
For Advanced Graphs and Charts and Unique Layouts (Beyond Excel’s Capabilities)
Copy and paste your data from Google Sheets or excel and Raw basically does the rest. With a simple interface, Raw walks you through options of what types of unique visual layouts are the best to display your data. These templates are already built and ready for use. Manipulate size, color, shapes and more without having any prior kowledge related to mapping or visualizations. As you alter these aspects of the visuals, Raw updates your visual in real time so you can see how it looks in a preview. It’s also super easy to export your design with just a click.
Looking to create a dynamic map that will make your report or blog post memorable and digestible? Datawrapper has options for creating all sorts of data visualizations, but it’s ability to easily transform your data into a ray of different types of maps is unparalleled. You can also choose your color palette and text font to be on brand. This is a must-have tool for anyone displaying any sort of location based data.
For Text Webs/Networks
If you’re looking for a way to demonstrate more interconnective qualitative data, then Kumu.io is the tool you should use. Perhaps you’re trying to demonstrate your concept mapping or community asset mapping, you would need to create a digestible web that shows how they are all intertwined. Or, let’s say you are trying to create an interactive visual that shows which Game of Thrones characters shared scenes. You would use Kumu to enter the character names and who they share scenes with. You can make your map more intriguing my enlarging the the name of the character with the most scenes, or thickening the stroke width based on how many scene two characters shared (the thicker the line, the more shared scenes).
For Line, Column, Bar, and Area Charts
If you’re a beginner at making standard graphs from your Google Sheets or Excel tables, FastChart is a simple and easy option. You can customize color, orientation, opacity, padding, and also annotate your graph very easily. This is definitely the option for newcomers in data visualization. We recommend you check out a few beginner no code data visualization courses to fully understand the depth and reach of powerful visuals here. There is so much more to data visualization than standard graphs and charts, and creating unique interactive visuals can be a great way to grab the attention of your audience and allow them to truly understand your data.
Knight Lab Timelines.js
The best free option for seamless timelines is Timeline.js. Timeline.js helps you rethink your standard timeline layout and lets you incorporate transitions and a copious amount of different templates. News sources from around the world have used Timeline.js, including TIME, Le Monde, and CNN.