5 Data Visualization Mistakes to Avoid

Episode 33: 5 Data Visualization Mistakes to Avoid

In this episode, I share 5 data visualization mistakes to avoid and why.

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Resources Mentioned in the Episode

If you want to learn about data viz essentials, you can enroll in my free Data Viz Like a Boss course here.

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Episode Transcript

Generated automatically – there may be some errors.

5 Data Viz mistakes

5 Data Viz mistakes

[00:00:00] Hana: In this episode, I’m gonna share five data viz mistakes you should try to avoid. These mistakes are in no particular order and they’re also not exhaustive. Also for the sake of time. I’m only sharing five mistakes in this episode. The first is not considering your target audience. When creating the data visualizations, the first step when presenting and visualizing your data should be identifying who your target audience is and getting to know them.

[00:00:26] This will allow you to create a data viz that your audience will understand and care about. The second mistake is choosing the wrong chart. To convey that message to your target audience, you need to choose a chart that will best convey the message, recommendation or insight that you want to share with your audience.

[00:00:42] So it’s fine if that means a bar chart, which sometimes people will find overused or boring is the best chart for your situation, that’s totally fine. There are pros and cons to using. , each chart type and the best one to use will depend on what message you are trying to convey and to whom. I recommend using this free website called Data Viz catalog to explore the different chart types and their functions to help you select the best chart.

[00:01:10] Another great resource is a book by Jon Schwabish called Better Data Visualizations. I’ll link both of these resources in the show notes for this episode. The third mistake is using too many colors in your data viz. You want to use colors to highlight and capture attention, which will be difficult if there are too many colors used.

[00:01:33] And what’s considered too many will vary depending on who you ask, but I would say anything more than four colors is too. . The fourth is also related to colors and it’s using the wrong color combinations if you decide to use more than one color. So you wanna make sure there’s enough contrast, meaning they’re not next to each other on the color wheel, and that the color combinations you’ve chosen are colorblind friendly.

[00:02:00] The final mistake I want to mention in this episode is truncating the axis. Truncating the axis can distort the chart and inaccurately represent the data. There are infamous charts like these that have shown up in the news, and often they’re used to inaccurately exaggerate differences in values that don’t exist in reality.

[00:02:21] But because of the truncated axis, the differences get. , you may not be trying to mislead intentionally because oftentimes the data doesn’t lie close to zero or there’s a huge gap in the data. So sometimes people think it’s more efficient to just truncate the axis, so more of it shows up on paper or whatever the reason.

[00:02:41] So it’s not always an intentional desire to mislead people. So I want you to be really wary of this mistake because it can happen unintentionally as. If you want to learn more of these database essentials, you can take my free course called Data Viz like a Boss.

[00:02:56] I’ll link this course in the show notes. It’s geared towards data viz beginners or those who have been creating charts, but feel like they need to learn the essentials and foundations of data viz. In next week’s episode, I’ll talk about five mistakes related to building dashboards that you should. So stay tuned.