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Author's profile photo Carly Creighton

How to Keep That Spark and Love Your Data with Data Visualizations

Love is in the air!  Yes, even for us data nerds.  I know many of us are waking up this morning still feeling the love through the champagne and chocolate hangovers.  Why not use this as a reminder to appreciate the other wonderful things in our lives—like your data!?

The Love Community

I’m not the only one that <3 data (and data visualizations) either.  You may not know this, but we’re in the midst of Love Your Data Week 2017 (February 13 – 17).

The purpose of the Love Your Data (LYD) campaign is to raise awareness and build a community to engage on topics related to research data management… We will share practical tips, resources, and stories to help researchers at any stage in their career use good data practices.

This week is supportive of researcher data, but there are important reminders that can be applied to business data as well.  Make sure you’re keeping these questions in the forefront of your data journey.

  • What data in your organization needs awareness?
  • Are you sharing tips with others?
  • Looking for tips on how to improve your process?
  • What communities can you join or start that could help your data shine and the love pour in?
  • How can you implement “good data practices?” How do colleagues want to visualize their data?

 Make Sure Your Data Is a “Catch”

 While making a first impression and finding someone these days can be easy as “swiping right,” there is still a wide need to find depth in our interactions.  And that’s true with your users’ love affair with reporting. At first, after being deprived of any decent reporting, users can be excited to have any reporting at all.  But the love can quickly fade and so can the report adoption.

So how can you make that love last? Create data that is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside.  Listen to your users, understand the core of the business need and represent it in an engaging way.  If the business user case is weak then the data will be tossed out just like all those gross half eaten chocolates. (Here’s a fun example of beautiful data from David McCandless, on the hidden taxonomy of hipster coffee shop names in London.)

Design: David McCandless Source:

Don’t Let Your Relationship with Data Get Stagnant

Human retinas can transmit data at about 10 million bits per second.  But often we have static data.  If you don’t want to lose “that loving feeling,”  don’t forget to keep improving and changing reports.  And keep it exciting by making sure you’re using the most innovative charts and data visualizations available.

Spreading the Love

Don’t be afraid to get your data out there!  I’ll leave with a quote from the article, Scientists Are Hoarding Data and It’s Ruining Medical Research, by BuzzFeed contributor Ben Goldacre.

When subjected to independent scrutiny, results routinely fail to stand up. We are starting to accept that there will always be glitches and flaws. Slowly, as a consequence, the culture of science is shifting beneath everyone’s feet to recognise this reality, work with it, and create structural changes or funding models to improve it.

Good luck spicing things up out there!



For More Information

  • Participate in Love Your Data week and follow the handle on Twitter at #LYD17 #loveyourdata


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