How do you choose appropriate visualizations for your dashboard?

Selecting the right visualizations is crucial in making your dashboard effective, engaging, and informative. This guide will show you how: 

Step 1: Understand your data and audience  

First, it’s essential to know the nature of your data and your audience. Consider the following questions: 

  • What kind of data are you working with? (categorical, numerical, time-based, etc.) 
  • Who is the target audience for the dashboard? (executives, managers, analysts, etc.) 
  • What are their needs and expectations? 
  • What is the primary goal or message of the dashboard? 

Step 2: Choose the right visualization type  

Once you understand your data and audience, it’s time to select appropriate visualization types. Here’s a list of common visualization types and their typical use cases: 

  • Bar chart: great for comparing values across categories or displaying trends over time for a small number of periods. 
  • Line chart: excellent for showing trends over time, especially for a larger number of periods. 
  • Pie chart: suitable for illustrating proportions of a whole. 
  • Scatter plot: perfect for showing the relationship between two variables. 
  • Heatmap: useful for visualizing patterns or correlations in large datasets. 
  • Treemap: ideal for displaying hierarchical data or part-to-whole relationships. 
  • Gauge or bullet chart: well-suited for representing progress towards a target or goal. 

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