Learn how to organize data points, and see examples of when this rule isn't followed.
- [Instructor] Imagine you're a musician trying to make it on your own without a label. You know that you're likely to make the most money in merchandise sales, but you aren't sure yet what sells better. Your shirts, CDs, limited edition vinyl, posters or key chains. Knowing your hot ticket items will inform how you display these products at your next show. So you take a look at the numbers over the past five shows which look like this. With just five items to review, it seems pretty easy to quickly discern that your CDs are selling better than anything else.
But what if you have different styles of shirts? And what if you had more CDs? Or keychains? As the data gets more complicated, you suddenly have quite a large bar graph to review with a lot of peaks and valleys. But look how easy it is to hone in on your best seller by simply reorganizing the bar chart. More often than not, designers visualize data based on the order in which it was discovered or provided to them. While we can all take the extra seconds to focus on the numbers that matter the most to us, when reviewing a lot of data at once, those precious seconds add up.
It's because of this that you should always organize the data from highest to lowest or lowest to highest. This simple shift makes it far easier to draw quick conclusions from the information. In addition to helping you draw quick conclusions, ordering your data in this way will also help you tell a story. For example, maybe you want to show an investor that your CD sales are better than the rest. By organizing from your lowest sold item to your most popular, a typical investor that reads left to right will focus on the growth potential.
If however you organize it differently, an investor might focus on your declining sales in other categories and miss the opportunity in front of them. Of course, from time to time, the x or y axis will determine the order of your information. This typically happens when an axis is using a time based metric like years or in this case like months or shows. When the axis forces the order, follow it.
When you have the freedom to order the data as you wish, always choose smallest to largest or largest to smallest.
To succeed in design and marketing today, one must know how to interpret and properly visualize data. This course, developed and led by Killer Infographics CEO, Amy Balliett, walks you through the ins and outs of creating accurate and compelling data visualizations. Amy focuses on best practices, not tools, although she does provide an overview of Illustrator graphing features. Using these tips, you'll learn how to stand out from the crowd and create charts and graphs that combine precision with visual appeal.
- What charts and graphs work best for different types of data
- Putting data into visual and textual context to ensure it is accurate
- Visualizing data that doesn't lend itself to imagery
- Adding visual appeal without sacrificing accuracy
- Using the Adobe Illustrator graphing tools
- Avoiding common data viz mistakes