2. 1 Tell a story!
Profitable vs. Unprofitable IPOs
IPO Decade: Every viz should tell a
150% 1990s story. As you create your
visualization, make sure
Day Since IPO:
to continually ask, “What
story does this tell?
story does this tell?”
0 to 800
Average Return Since IPO
89% Profitable at IPO
This viz shows us that
Profitable companies that IPO’d
39% after reaching
profitability were far
more successful in the
Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
0 255 510 765
Trading Days Since IPO
3. 2 Orient text horizontally
Unfunded Pension Liability by State
Sometimes the small changes make all the difference in understanding
4. 3 Avoid pies! Except on maps…
p p p
Can you tell which slice is largest? Region Graffiti by Precinct and Resolution
0-15 16-24 25-40 41-64 65+
This is the same information represented as bars.
Comparisons are much easier.
0-15 16-24 25-40 41-64 65+
rcent of Total Users
Bar charts beat pies every time! But… pies can be effective on maps.
The human eye can compare height
The human eye can compare height The same comparison problem exists,
The same comparison problem exists
much easier than area. but pies allow analysis in small spaces.
5. 4 Use multiple views
Unemployment by Decade and Year Highlight Decade:
---0 ---1 ---2 ---3 ---4 ---5 ---6 ---7 ---8 ---9
Month over Month
y September 1983
6% Average= 5.6%
0% Average= 116K
-1,000K -500K 0K 500K 1,000K Source: Bureau of L..
Change in Employment from Prior Month
Use two coordinated views to show depth,
rather than trying to place everything into one view.
6. 5 Bullets beat Gauges
Besides being difficult to read, gauges take up tons of space. Use bullets charts!
7. 6 Increase effectiveness with color
The human eye can detect subtle differences in color much faster than it can read subtle
differences in text. Using color saves on space too!
diff i i l !
8. 7 But not too many colors at once
District of Columbia Crimespotting
About Tableau maps: www.tableausoftware.com/mapdata
Using more than 10 colors can cause them to blend together and confuse.
This view is only using 8 colors, but it is still difficult to differentiate the greens.
This view is only using 8 colors but it is still difficult to differentiate the greens
9. 8 Labels make it clear
Labels are wonderful for calling out key data points and actions
10. 9 Make it interactive!
Enable filters, highlighting and clicking for more detail to
Enable filters highlighting and clicking for more detail to
supercharge the usefulness of your visualization
11. 10 No ornamentation necessary
This viz shows the National Activity Index. Not exactly exciting stuff. Yet, this simple
visualization tells a story and does it without ornamentation or added presentation layers.
visualization tells a story and does it without ornamentation or added presentation layers
Let the data tell the story!