Data Visualisation Principle and Best Practices

In this practical interactive workshop, participants will learn how to create data visualisations they can use to explore data to find valuable insights, and accurately and clearly communicate those insights to decision makers.

Participants will learn and apply data visualisation principles and best practices based academic research and industry experience using the data visualisation design process. Participants can also bring existing data visualisations on which they can receive feedback from the experienced facilitator.


This workshop is intended for people who want to better understand data visualisaiton concepts and principles so they can perform better data analysis and more clearly communicate the insights.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course participants will be able to:

  • Apply the data visualisation design process to create appealing and effective data visualisations
  • Select and create the correct data visualisations to explore and identify insights in a data set
  • Select and create the correct data visualisation to communicate insights found in data to their readers
  • Apply best practice data visualisation design principles to ensure the insights are clear and unambiguous

Course Agenda

Module 1 – Data Visualisation Concepts and Principles

  • Data Visualisation and Analytics
  • What is analytics?
  • What is data visualisation and why use it?
  • The role of data visualisations in analytics?
  • Representation and presentation
  • Tables or Graphs: When should each be used?
  • Breakout Activity – Matching data visualisation activities and types to decision tasks
  • Data Visualisation Principles
  • Data visualisation is communication
  • Key perception patterns in data visualisation
  • Designing for clarity, attention and focus
  • The vocabulary and grammar of visualisation
  • Using colour correctly
  • Breakout activity – Improving data visualisations for clarity, attention and focus
  • Data Visualisation Best Practices
  • The 8 key data relationships
  • Table and graphs design principles
  • Breakout activity – Critique table and graph designs against best practices guidelines

Module 2 – Data Visualisation Design Process

  • Adding Narrative to Graphs and Tables
  • Annotations to explain
  • Calls to action
  • Adding icons and images
  • Exploratory and Explanatory Visualisation
  • Exploratory visualisation process
  • Interpreting exploratory visualisations
  • Explanatory visualisation process
  • Data Visualisation Mini-Project


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