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Data Visualization: Designing a Visualization

This LibGuide collects resources and tutorials related to data visualization. It is a companion to the visualization services provided by Data and Visualization Services at Duke University Libraries.

Chart Choosers

If you have collected and processed a data set but need some help with choosing an appropriate visualization type, you might find one of these "chart choosers" helpful. 

It's useful to have an idea of what might be interesting about your data first, so that you can select a visualization type that will highlight that part of your data.  If you're still exploring your data, you might want to try a broad range of charts and combinations.

Designing a Data Visualization Project

Infographics Design Resources

Infographics are a popular way to tell a story using data, but it's often difficult to get started producing them yourself because they require a combination of storytelling, graphic design, and data visualization skills. There are also many possible tools you can use to produce them, from Adobe Illustrator or InDesign (access for Duke affiliates), to PowerPoint, to various online tools such as Canva or Piktochart. Below are a few resources you might find helpful to get started learning those skills and tools. Videos has some of the best video learning resources you can find on almost any technology-related subject. Duke affiliates have free access through this OIT portal.

Infographics Fundamentals · Recommended by Terence Oliver, who spoke about visual information design in Spring 2017 at the Visualization Friday Forum. He knows the instructor. She gives a good overview, but it's from a slightly different perspective than academics would be coming from since she owns a design firm that creates infographics. Because of this, she covers well the process of researching, but most of our audience would already have the background information done.

Before & After: Things Every Designer Should Know · Really a great series. Small videos, just 3-10 min each, that each have a special topic. Lots of great examples of, as the title says, before and after graphics.

Data Visualization Storytelling Essentials · Talks about storytelling in general – why it's so powerful – and relates it to data visualization in particular. Nice way of approaching any visualization task. Again, focuses on having a definite purpose for every chart, and how to put them together to tell your story.

DVS Workshops

There are many skills and tools taught as part of the Duke Data and Visualization Services workshop series that can help you with your infographics. Peruse the list of upcoming and past workshops to learn more. In particular, the recordings of Graphic Design for Effective Diagrams and Adobe Illustrator for Diagrams and Visualizations might be good places to start.

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Angela Zoss
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