5 Data Visualization Lessons for Creating Winning Infographics

Reading Time: 2 Minutes


If you liked my last article on data visualization sins check out my latest guest post on Outbrain. In this article I specifically focus on data visualization for infographics. Below is a snippet, but follow the link to Outbain for more juicy examples and tips for designing better data driven infographics.

When Visualizing Data, Choose the RIGHT Chart

Sometimes infographics fail to resonate because the author simply chooses the wrong chart (or charts) to visualize their data.

Using the wrong chart to represent your data can make your infographic both confusing and frustrating to read and it’s a simple error that you should never make.

Example

The image below is a snippet from an infographic which offers insight into millennial dining trends in relation to everyone’s favorite meal, brunch

Infographic: Let’s Do Brunch (Forever and Ever and Ever

What’s the problem?

The image above is what’s known as a treemap, which is typically used to visualize hierarchical data through nested tables and color coding.

Treemaps work well when you have a dataset that has a complex organizational structure with many sub-branches.

Here’s a great example of a treemap map produced by the New York Times which breaks down President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal.

New York Times: Obama’s 2011 Budget Proposal: How It’s Spent

The data presented in the brunch infographic isn’t hierarchical, and therefore, a treemap wasn’t the right choice.

There’s also a minor issue with the way the graphic was constructed.

Notice anything odd about those 3 boxes on the right of the graphic labeled 18% (i.e. Donuts, Oatmeal and French Toast)?

They don’t appear to be equal, and it would seem that the designer manually created these graphical elements by hand, which is a big no-no when it comes to data visualization.

How to fix it?

Want to see how to learn from this gaffe and more examples of dataviz gone wrong, check out the full article on Outbrain by clicking the link below.