Introduction to Data Visualisation

The aim of this Introduction to Data Visualisation course is to improve the data visualisation literacy of delegates, and in doing so increase their confidence and competence in creating effective charts.

In any data-based role, the importance of simple, effective and impactful data visualisation is becoming ever more important and therefore it is key that individuals know how to correctly create charts that tell effective and truthful data stories.


The course is either suited for individuals in the early stages of their professional career or for individuals in their first data centric role. It is also suitable for those that feel less confident in how to create the right visualisations for the data that they analyse.

As the title suggests, it is a beginner/ introduction course, with all visualisations derived from Excel/ PowerPoint, therefore there isn’t a pre-requisite for knowing how to code or use specific visualisation software like Tableau or Power BI.

There is a benefit in a team taking this training as it would establish a base level of understanding and application and set standards for the creation of data visualisations.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course participants should be able to:

  • Describe what is data visualisation and the role it plays in data centric roles.
  • Identify the different chart elements that make up a data visualisation.
  • Name the 4 different data types that will typically fuel your charts and how these can influence your choice of data visualisation.
  • Utilise best practice when creating 10 different chart types that will from your core visualisation portfolio.
  • Know how to personalise your visualisation to make it more persuasive with your end consumer.

Course Content

  • What is data and data visualisation
  • Why do we create data visualisations
  • 4 key reasons why we create data visualisations
  • Breakout session: why visualisations are or could be important in our roles
  • Chart elements
  • What are the different chart elements that make up a visualisation
  • Group exercise to identify chart elements on a visualisation and to define their role
  • How data and the story influence chart choice
  • Data measurement scales
  • Introduce the four different measurement scales of Nominal, Ordinal, Interval and Ratio
  • Exercise to test understanding of measurement scales
  • Data Stories
  • Introduce the four different story types of Comparison, Distribution, Composition and Relationship
  • Group discussion on which stories are most prevalent in our roles
  • Introduce Abela Chart type hierarchy for helping chose your chart type
  • The chart portfolio (The 10 different types)
  • Charts include: Vertical Bar, Horizontal Bar, Line Chart, Slope Chart, Scatter Plot, Bubble Chart, Pie Chart, Stacked Bar, Area Chart, Histogram
  • Introducing what each is visualising, the different data stories that use these charts and best practices on how to correctly create them
  • Exercises to create different chart types and test understanding of best practice
  • Ideas to elevate your visuals
  • Personalising your visualisation to increase its persuasive power – hone the idea – make it stand out – adjust what is around it
  • Personal action plan for practices and implementation


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