data visualization: basics

Introduction

Data visualizations, frequently referred to as information graphics, are a powerful tool that will inform and educate your readers. Often important data-heavy information can bog down a narrative or slow the pacing of a story. That data might be edited out to streamline a story or put into a table for readers to browse.

A better solution is to use simple graphics that can be created in minutes and delivered for free using web tools.  These information graphics will compliment and add context to your stories. Graphics can help you highlight  important information from a database in a way much easier to understand than a text-only presentation.

What is a database? Simply put, a database is information organized into rows and columns. A spreadsheet or table is one of the most basic forms. If you can make a spreadsheet, you can build a database. The challenge lies in accessing the data from a graphic on the Web. In this tutorial, we will use Google Spreadsheets and Google Gadgets.

Before starting, download the sample spreadsheets and unzip.

 

Pie Chart Google Gadget Spreadsheet

Filed under: Data Visualization