Course Outline – Visualising Data

The purpose of the course is to inspire you to create visuals that are both clear and engaging to your audience.  This is for anybody who needs to communicate data and results whether it be  to their board of directors or to the public at large.  It provides guidelines of how to build effective  visualisations, how to choose the right chart for your dataset and introduces some tools and approaches to make the process easier and more enjoyable.

Review of example visualisation (Group Discussion)
The trainer will quickly show a variety of examples of good public visualisations on the web. Each group will choose one of these examples and considers the purpose, audience and design decisions and whether it is an effective visualisation. Each group will make a short presentation to the class of their conclusions.

Design a Data Visualisation (Group Discussion)
The trainer will present a few public datasets with the same data visualised in different ways – for example as a bar chart, scatter chart, line chart. The class will vote on which visualisation is most effective and discuss why. This will lead to a discussion of how to choose the best visualisation for a dataset and to some conclusions about visual best practices.

Design a Data Visualisation (Group Exercise)
The class will discuss a variety of public datasets provided by the trainer to visualise. Each group will choose a dataset and analyse their data and create a design concept for their visualisation(s) – the result will be a sketch diagram on a flip-chart. Each group will make a short presentation of their design concept to the class.

Implement a Data Visualisation (Group Exercise)
Each group will implement their visualisation based on their design concept. The groups are free to choose whatever software they have available – for example, this could be Excel, Power BI Desktop (a free tool from Microsoft) or Tableau Online (a free tool from Tableau). Each group will make a short presentation of their implemented visualisation to the class.

Recap and Resources
We will summarise the lessons learned during the day and suggest a few resources for attendees who would like to learn more about data visualisation.