Explore the three rules: reduce mental tasks, show data that matters most, and establish context.
- [Instructor] There are three basic rules to successful data visualization. First, reduce mental tasks. The more brain work someone has to do to interpret your data, the less likely they are to understand it. Aim for no more than two or three mental tasks per visualization. Per chart, per table, per graph, or whatever else it is that you're presenting. Second, establish context. Make sure the data you present is accurately represented based on scale, time frame, or other dimensions, and make sure data is accurately represented compared to other data.
Don't get cute with modifying visualizations to present a favorable or unfavorable picture. Modify for clarity and that's it. Third, show data that matters. As marketers, we care about all kinds of metrics, from visits to page views to time on page. These are bottom up metrics that we use to explain and predict results for ourselves. Our clients, though, only care about key performance indicators. Sales, return on investment. Start by showing clients KPIs. That's what matters to them.
Drill down if they ask. Data visualizations that follow these three rules are easier for clients to understand.
- Reducing mental tasks for your audience
- Removing redundant data ink
- Working with color and typography
- Creating a dashboard
- Highlighting data points
- Showing trends over time
- Determining which visualization to use and when
- Structuring reports