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3 Tips for Better Data Visualization of Your Project Outcomes

By Tech Change on October 23, 2019

data visualization course

The  value of good data visualization is imminently apparent for those of us that work in international development. How we tell stories with data and communicate impact effectively demands a strong command of both art and science, and is becoming an increasingly critical skill set for professionals in our field.

Please sign up now for Tech for Data Visualization a new TechChange course that starts on November 18th. Use the code “ ICTWorks395” to get your discount!

During the four-week online course, we share tips and tricks for improving your visuals and creating greater impact. Here are three quick tips to start with:

1. Reduce the clutter/chart junk

data ink ratio

So many of our graphics in international development are littered with chart junk: 3d elements, drop shadows, background colors, gridlines, dual axes, patterns, cute graphics, and other unnecessary clutter.

Famed data visualization expert Edward Tufte underscores this through the concept of data-ink ratio. In other words, how much ink does it take to communicate your data and how might you reduce it?

2. Label your data directly.

labels for dataviz

Consider scrapping the legend for your graphic and embedding text labels directly into your graphic. Legends make your viewers have to work harder. Embedded text will make it easier for your viewer to understand your point.

Data visualization expert Stephanie Evergreen lays out  a series of fantastic resources for how to do this well as well as resources for how to choose the right chart type on her blog, EvergreenData.

3. Use color intentionally.

color for dataviz

Too often we see charts with lots of colors that distract from the key message or point. Worse, some charts just use the stock Microsoft colors for their graphics. Consider using color to make your point, and fade all other data into the background.

Sign Up Now: Tech for DataViz

Want to learn more about the latest trends and techniques? Build some new skills and meet some amazing data visualizers? The TechChange DataVz four-week online certificate course will focus on building skills and strategies to better visualize and analyze data using a variety of tech tools.

It will feature live interactive guest expert presentations with leading M&E practitioners, software developers, and data scientists. It will also include a unique hands-on learning environment with animated videos, technology demos, practical activities, networking events, immersive simulations and more.

Sign up for the course here.  Use the code ICTWorks395 to activate a discount.

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TechChange provides online professional development in technology and social change for implementers in public health, emergency response, and monitoring and evaluation. TechChange connects them with relevant content, experts, and certification using their facilitated learning platform.
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