We have to give presentation at work or in school, we often have to prepare Power Point slides. If we have some data, we don’t drown the audience in sea of numbers. If we have some complex idea, we don’t want to bore the audience to death by long descriptions. A picture wroth thousands words. We give our presentation with colorful pictures or graphs help getting the message across. However, most of us only know how to use the few basic graphs come with Excel, namely the pie chart, the bar chart, the X-Y charts. Some of us many be a little bit more advance, know how to use Visio and able to draw some boxes and diagrams.
However, there are thousands of ways to visualize your data and idea. Data visualization is a combination of art and science. On one hand you have to deliver the information clearly and accurately. On the other hand the aesthetic appeal draw the audience’s attention so that they will remember your message long after the presentation has ended. I found a good reference of all common ways of presenting data in The Periodic Table of Visualization Methods. Next time when we prepare our Power Point slides, we don’t have to always stick with those boring pie charts.