Data-driven decision making through visualizations

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You have collected your evaluation data, now what?

Sometimes piecing together the most compelling story for your readers can be difficult. There are so many interesting findings and so many ways to present the data, but how do you ensure your readers will remember your findings? Presenting data in the form of data visualizations can be more palatable and memorable to your readers than dense text. However, starting that process can be overwhelming.

When designing visualizations for your report, the first thing to consider is your audience, who are they? What is their level of understanding of the topic area and data? After the audience has been defined you want to think about the best type of visual for the data you want to present, for instance, a line graph or trend line might work best if you want to show changes over time or bubble size can show quantitative comparisons. Or you may want to incorporate a few visualizations into a single page in your report. Considering the layout is key while the reader is scrolling through the document. Putting the important content in the top left and moving in form of a Z or newspaper allows the reader to seamlessly gather the information you are presenting. White space and size also help the readers eyes by providing a buffer between the visualizations and helping the reader focus. Color should also be placed strategically and be consistent throughout the report. After you have staged your visualization page, getting feedback is key to improving readability. Asking others on your team for input will help strengthen the product, as it can be easy to get tunnel vision for the design!

A cornerstone to DevTech products is providing compelling and dynamic visuals, interactive or static, to final products whether be an evaluation report or a website for USAID or the Department of State. DevTech not only holds high standards for data integrity but also data presentation.

For more information on designing your best visualization see:

Tableau Conference 2019: Dashboard Design with the User in Mind

Tableau Best Practices

The Big Book of Dashboards

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