One of the first things people learn, before learning to properly speak and count, is to recognize and categorize objects by color, size and shape. This is probably the main explanation of the explosion and huge popularity of different data visualization trends on the Internet in the past few years. But not so many people actually know how to visualize data.
Data analysts, researchers, statisticians, finance professionals, students – basically everyone who works with data and needs to create all sorts of reports which they share with their stakeholders – have benefited greatly from this popular visual data trend.
Reports that were previously boring, dry and in many cases difficult to grasp because of too many numbers, calculations and sentences with dense terminology, can now be viewed in attractive visual forms.
How to visualize Data Reports easily
Thanks to the Internet and many wonderful online and desktop tools, it is so much easier to learn how to visualize complex information and data in a way that will help people not only understand it, but also enjoy viewing it.
Today we are recommending seven different ways how to visualize data in an appealing and effective visual form.
1) Turn Your Data into an Infographic
Every type of information – sales reports, business strategies, math problems, history of evolution – can be turned into a clear and engaging infographic whose flow it is easy to follow.
Infographics can also differ greatly. There are those that are completely image based, and there are those dense with numbers, percentages and symbols, but grouped in such a way that helps us easily distinguish important data among different geometrical shapes and colors.
Infographics are a fun and effective way to show complicated and important information, and one of the best things about them is that anyone can create them using free online tools and applications. Some of the most popular web based apps for creating infographics are Piktochart, Infogr.am and Easel.ly which are very easy to use and offer different options like choosing a theme, uploading images from a computer, adding icons and hyperlinks, sharing infographics on social networks or blog, etc.
2) Turn Chronological Information into Interactive Online Timelines
Online timeline is another visual “shortcut” to information. If you want to follow your career path chronologically, mark important academic accomplishments, record the path of some financial trend or make a chronology of your company’s product, timelines are an excellent way to do it.
Facebook is a good example of personal timeline, but there are great online programs for creating business/professional timelines. One of them is TimelineJS that allows users to document a chronology of any event in a very clean, professional-looking and attractive way.
3) Chart Out MS Excel Spreadsheet Data
Excel tables often look dry, monotonous and overwhelming with all the numbers clustered in rows and columns. Converting Excel spreadsheets into charts is a great way to visualize all that data and make it easier to understand.
An obvious way to do it is to create charts within the Excel program itself. However, there are online applications that offer unique set of options and a more stylish approach to charting out information in MS Excel spreadsheets.
For example, iCharts is a neat tool for uploading Microsoft Excel tables and converting them to interactive charts. iCharts provides all kinds of interesting options to finance and accounting experts, research analysts and other data users. They can add logos, tags, descriptions, make their charts clickable and searchable, and this helps them present their data in a way that will engage their bosses, clients and other stakeholders.
4) Map Out Your Spreadsheet Data
Business professionals who have a geographical component in their spreadsheet data – names of places, area codes, phone numbers, location coordinates – can try Mapcite’s Excel Addin which allows them to visualize their data in Excel on a map and get the better understanding of “the where” factor. There is a free version of the addin for Microsoft Excel allows users who want to start adding maps to their workbooks.
5) Present Your Spreadsheets on the Internet
If you would like to showcase your spreadsheet data on the Internet, share them with your students on your education site, or simply publish your information on the blog, there are multiple ways to do it.
Tableizer! is an example of a very quick and simple online service that is used for converting spreadsheets into HTML tables. You can paste your spreadsheet cells into a given box on the Tableizer website, choose font style, size and your header color, quickly “tableize” your data, and then embed these HTML tables into your webpage with a piece of code.
6) Convert Text to Mind Maps
Mind mapping is a great way to brainstorm new ideas or simply present your ideas visually. Thankfully, these are many great and very advanced web applications for creating mind maps and collaborating on them within project teams and other collaborators.
XMind 8 Pro is one of the most popular mind mapping tools with new better-looking XMind 8 you can quickly open and edit your project and increases your work efficiency. The tool also can synchronize your files across computer faster and more secure. Also, feel free to create and share your presentation with new slide-based presentation feature. When you are done with your mind map, simply export your work to PDF format and that’s it.
7) Turn Data into MS PowerPoint Slideshows
Turning dull spreadsheet data into a visually stimulating slideshow is one of the most effective ways to present data at a workplace, seminar, school or webinar and attract attention of your intended audience.
Microsoft Office users who usually create their financial reports, sales projections, statistical analyses and any other kind of data driven documents in MS Excel, can benefit from their installed MS PowerPoint. Its advanced presentation features allow them to present the results of their hard analytical work in a form of a convincing and powerful slideshow.