Data visualization is a technique for converting and summarizing large and complex datasets in a visual form. This process makes the data easier to comprehend. Additionally, presenting data in a graphic format is pleasant to look at and draws people’s attention more effectively.
Using data visualization in social media is an excellent way to illustrate important information. For example, if you want to show your audience how your product brings attention to their website’s critical areas, you could use heat maps. Other types of data visualizations you could use include:
- Line charts
- Pie charts
- Area charts
- Bar charts
- Scatter plots
These can be used to illustrate the text of your social media post or as a standalone visualization. It’s important that whatever type of visualization you use serves to clarify and highlight your data’s takeaways.
Tips for Creating Data Visualizations for Social Media
Choose a Specific Topic
For your data visualizations to impact your audience, you need to choose a pertinent and interesting subject. However, even the most relevant data can be overwhelming if you present too much information at one time. Furthermore, your data can come off as scattered if you don’t have a clear idea of the story you want to tell. For these reasons, you need to have a specific focus for your data visualization. This will allow you to piece together the information logically so that it tells a powerful and compelling story.
Use Valid Data
The data you use needs to be valid. Make sure to do your research to ensure that your data is credible. You must use unbiased sources and be transparent with your audience about where your information is coming from. It is easy to manipulate data to serve one’s own purposes, and therefore people may be skeptical. Therefore you must ensure that you present your data in a way that leaves no question about its validity. You can do this by including a sources section at the bottom of your data so your audience can validate where your data is coming from.
Utilize Design Best Practices
The way you present your data is almost as necessary as the data itself. The visual is what will attract and engage people. It will serve to make your information readable and digestible. To accomplish this, you must utilize design best practices. Ideally, you will want to hire a designer rather than trying to do it yourself because the visual will impact how your audience understands the data, so an amateur design just won’t suffice. However, if you do decide to do it yourself, here are the best practices you will need to keep in mind:
- The type of chart you use is key. Make sure to select the most appropriate for your data set.
- The visual should guide the viewer’s eye by highlighting the most critical details.
- The color palette should be brand consistent and pleasing to the eye.
- The fonts should be easy to read and consistent with your brand.
Data Visualization Tools
Suppose you don’t have a background in design and don’t want to hire a designer. In that case, your best bet is to use a data visualization tool to automatically generate visualized data or provide you with a customizable template.
Tableau allows you to take data from a cloud database and turn it into a chart or graph. This tool integrates with advanced database solutions such as Amazon AWS, SAP, Hadoop, SAP, and Teradata. It offers bubble charts, word clouds, and tree diagrams so you can add more context to your data.
Maptive’s heat map generator is designed to show you trends in location data on a Google map. This tool can be used to visualize marker density or numerical data related to geographical locations. Furthermore, you can customize your heat map by adjusting the gradient colors, the radius, the opacity, and the intensity threshold.
Venngage helps you create colorful infographics so you can illustrate your data through storytelling. This tool offers various templates that you can customize with your information, colors, visuals, and charts.
TimelineJS allows you to map a series of events as they appear in time so that you can make connections between issues, track progress, and demonstrate patterns. This tool supports a wide range of media formats, including Google Map data, Wikipedia articles, YouTube URLs, and SoundCloud embeds. As a result, you get an interactive timeline that lets users scroll at their own pace and click on specific media elements.
Data visualization is a great way to engage your audience when presenting the information. By visually illustrating your data, you are more likely to arrest their attention on social media. However, you must ensure that your data tells a specific story, that the data you present is credible, and is presented in a way that’s clean, clear, and pleasing to look at.