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What we’ve been reading this week – 18th April 2019

What we’ve been reading this week – 18th April 2019

As part of our ongoing ‘Making Better Decisions’ blog series, we’ve spoken at length about the unique perspective that data can provide. With that in mind, we’ve decided to focus our attention on Data Visualisations this week.

Top of the pile this week are three great reads from Towards Data Science. By way of introduction, this article discusses the various types of visualisation and the differences between each, then this article provides some hard takeaways on optimisation and how to convert insights into action. Whether the medium is physical or digital, the principals of good design are constant. Clear and intuitive design enables organisations to draw meaningful insights from their data. This article looks at the design process and creating practical, usable dashboards.

Unfortunately, not all data visualisations are created equally. Whether intentional or not, personal bias and selective data sources can lead to data visualisations that create a false or misleading narrative. This article – a ‘mea culpa’ from The Economist – is a great examination of how poorly presented data can mislead readers. They deserve credit for bravely going into their archive and showcasing old Economist charts that didn’t quite hit the mark. For anyone interested in (a lot of) further reading on producing effective visualisations (at least for organisations in the public domain), the EU has produced a comprehensive 124-page compendium on the topic.

At their core, data visualisations are stories that enable actions. They should provide perspective and insight that we might have otherwise missed. Over the last week, we’ve collated a few more examples that do just that. So check out the following:

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by PJ Kirk

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