Effective Visual Communication of Data
by Andy Kirk
This two-day training workshop aims to provide delegates with an accessible and comprehensive understanding about the craft of data visualisation.
The focus of the training is how to effectively communicate data visually. The teaching will attendees to know what to think, when to think and how to think about all the editorial, analytical and design decisions involved in any data-driven challenge.
This workshop will be relevant for anyone who has a responsibility for making sense of data and communicating it to others. Whether this activity is only part of your job or fills all of your duties, this session is intended for any participant demographic. You might be an analyst, statistician, or researcher looking to enhance the creativity and impact of your communications. Perhaps you possess creative flair, as a designer or developer, and you’re seeking to enhance the rigour of your data-driven capabilities? Maybe you do not personally get involved in the analysis or presenting of data but manage others who do. We are all consumers of data visualisations in our daily lives, via media and through the workplace, whether we realise or not, so improving the sophistication of how one reads, interprets and evaluates the effectiveness of such displays is a key literacy.
The approach to teaching this subject is not framed around specific tools or applications. Across the session there will be references to some of the most common, contemporary technologies but the emphasis of this training is about the underlying craft, regardless of your tools or skills.
The training is structured around a proven design process. Across the session delegates will build up, stage by stage, a detailed understanding of all the different aspects of decision-making that goes into any data visualisation project, whether it is for a one-off or recurring project, for simple or complex applications.
The content is delivered through a energetic blend of teaching, discussion, and practice. The exercise and workshop activities vary in nature, from critically evaluating visualisations and exploring data, through to sketching ideas and choosing effective charts. Each activity is designed to reinforce the learning acquired at each stage.
The most crucial pre-requisite is curiosity - an instinct for and interest in discovering and sharing insights from data - and an appetite to find a fresh approach to communicating data through visual representation and presentation. No other technical or skill-based prerequisite. Attendees should be willing to contribute to and learn from discussions during class exercise activities and do so in a respectful and constructive manner.
What you will learn
There are four key learning domains for delegates attending these workshops:
- To challenge your existing thinking about creating and consuming visualisation works, helping to clarify your convictions about what differentiates effective from ineffective data visualisation design.
- To enlighten you with an appreciation of the wide range of visual design options, such the many chart types and their roles, different techniques for offering interactivity, employing annotation, effective applications of colour theory, and design composition.
- To equip you with the knowledge and practical experience of employing an efficient design process that heightens your confidence in making astute choices regardless of your task, your data, your subject and your technical skills
- To inspire you to have the confidence to broaden your creative ambitions, by enhancing your visual vocabulary and exposing you to the contemporary techniques being used by practitioners from across the data visualisation field today.
- Defining data visualisation and contrasts with other related subjects
- The key principles of good data visualisation design
- The importance of being a sophisticated visualisation consumer
- Understanding the ingredients that form the profile of a skilled visualisation designer
- An overview of contemporary data visualisation tools, applications and programmes
- The importance of identifying contextual factors and defining your vision
- Examining the physicality, meaning and condition of your data
- Using visual techniques to explore data
- The critical role of editorial thinking
- The data visualisation design anatomy
- The building blocks of data encoding
- The spectrum of different chart types and their roles
- Introduction to the ‘Chartmaker Directory’
- The potential applications of interactivity in visualisation design
- The role of effective annotation for assistance and insight
- Applying colour theories for data legibility and functional decoration
- The architectural considerations for composing a visualisation work