Data Visualization: Everything You Need to Know

In our increasingly data-driven world, the demand for data skills in employees is steadily rising. Business owners and employees at every level need to have an understanding of data and its impact. Data visualization, in the form of dashboards, is the go-to tool for many businesses to analyze and share information, making data more accessible and understandable.

Microsoft Power BI is a powerful data visualization tool that can help you harness the power of data to make informed decisions and drive your business forward. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of data visualization, the advantages and disadvantages, and provide six in-depth tips for developing an effective data visualization strategy.

By following these tips, you can create compelling data visualizations that effectively communicate insights, drive decision-making, and propel your business forward. Microsoft Power BI offers a robust platform for creating and sharing these visualizations, helping you turn raw data into actionable insights. As a Microsoft Solutions Partner, Convverge is here to help you harness the power of data visualization and make the most of Microsoft Power BI.

6 Tips for Presenting Data That’s Easy to Understand

  1. Understand your audience and objectives: Before creating any data visualization, it is crucial to identify your target audience and the goals you aim to achieve. Understanding your audience’s needs and preferences will help you tailor the visualizations to convey the message effectively. Define clear objectives for the visualization, whether it’s to inform, persuade, or explore data.
  2. Choose the right visualization type: Selecting the appropriate visualization type is essential for accurately representing the data and making it easy to understand. Carefully consider the nature of the data, the relationships between variables, and the story you want to tell. Experiment with different visualization types, such as bar charts, line charts, pie charts, and scatter plots, to determine which best communicates the information.
  3. Prioritize simplicity and clarity: A good data visualization should be easy to understand at a glance. Avoid overcrowding your visualizations with too many elements, which can make them confusing and difficult to interpret. Use a clean and simple design that highlights the most important information, and ensure that the visual elements are clear and distinct.
  4. Use appropriate colors and visual cues: Colors and visual cues play a significant role in conveying information and evoking emotions. Choose a color scheme that is visually appealing and easy on the eyes, while also being accessible to colorblind users. Use colors and visual cues strategically to direct attention, highlight trends or outliers, and emphasize key data points. Consistency in color coding and visual cues across multiple visualizations can also enhance understanding.
  5. Provide context and annotations: To help your audience understand the data better, provide context by including labels, titles, and legends. Annotations can also be used to highlight specific data points or trends, add explanations, or offer additional insights. Make sure that the text is concise and easy to read, and avoid using jargon that may be unfamiliar to your audience.
  6. Iterate and refine: Creating an effective data visualization is an iterative process. Once you have designed an initial visualization, seek feedback from your target audience or colleagues to identify any areas for improvement. Test different versions of the visualization to determine which one communicates the information most effectively. Be prepared to make changes and refine your visualization based on feedback and insights, ensuring that it meets your objectives and resonates with your audience.

Types of Data Visualizations

Data visualization is a diverse field, offering numerous ways to represent information graphically. Microsoft Power BI supports a wide range of visualization types, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your data and objectives. In this section, we will explore some of the most common types of data visualizations and their applications. While the list is not exhaustive, it represents some of the most popular visualization methods.

Bar Charts

Bar charts are among the most popular visualization types, as they allow for easy comparison of values across categories. Vertical bars represent numerical values, with the length of each bar corresponding to the value it represents. Bar charts can be used to display data such as sales by region, website traffic by source, or customer satisfaction scores.

Line Charts

Line charts are ideal for displaying trends over time or other continuous variables. Data points are plotted on a two-dimensional plane, with a line connecting them to illustrate the trend. Line charts are particularly useful for visualizing time series data, such as stock prices, temperature readings, or website traffic over time.

Pie Charts

Pie charts display data as a percentage of a whole, with each segment representing a category. This visualization type is particularly useful when you want to show the proportion of each category within a dataset, such as market share or revenue distribution.

Scatter Plots

Scatter plots display the relationship between two numerical variables by plotting data points on a two-dimensional plane. This visualization type is useful for identifying correlations, trends, or outliers within a dataset. Scatter plots can be used to explore relationships such as the correlation between advertising spend and sales, or the relationship between age and income.

Heat Maps

Heat maps use color intensity to represent data values across a two-dimensional space, such as a grid or a geographical map. This visualization type is particularly useful for displaying patterns or trends in large datasets, like the concentration of sales across a region or the distribution of website visitors by country.


Treemaps are a type of hierarchical visualization that display nested rectangles, with the size and color of each rectangle representing different aspects of the data. Treemaps are useful for visualizing complex, multi-level datasets, such as an organization’s budget allocation or the composition of a product portfolio.

Gauge Charts

Gauge charts display data in the form of a dial or gauge, making it easy to visualize progress towards a specific goal or target. This visualization type is particularly useful for tracking key performance indicators (KPIs), such as sales targets, customer satisfaction scores, or production quotas.

Geospatial Visualizations

Geospatial visualizations display data on geographical maps, allowing users to explore the relationship between data and location. Examples of geospatial visualizations include choropleth maps, which use color shading to represent data values in specific regions, and point maps, which use symbols or markers to represent data points on a map.

How Different Industries use Data Visualization

Data visualization plays a crucial role in various industries, as it helps professionals understand complex data and make informed decisions. Here are a few examples of common data visualizations used in different industries:


  • Heat maps: These are used to display geographical variations in disease prevalence, outbreak hotspots, or access to healthcare facilities.
  • Line charts: They help visualize trends in patient admissions, recovery rates, and treatment effectiveness over time.
  • Stacked bar charts: These can display the distribution of different types of medical procedures or diagnoses across various age groups, genders, or other demographic factors.


  • Time-series charts: Widely used to track stock prices, exchange rates, and other financial indicators over time.
  • Pie charts: They help visualize the distribution of assets in a portfolio, revenue sources, or expense categories.
  • Treemaps: These provide a hierarchical view of financial data, such as the breakdown of a company’s revenue by product lines, divisions, or regions.


  • Bar charts: These can represent the performance of different marketing channels, comparing metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, or return on investment (ROI).
  • Geographic maps: They are used to display customer demographics, regional sales performance, and market penetration.
  • Funnel charts: Widely used to visualize the stages of a customer’s journey through the marketing and sales funnel, from initial interest to conversion.


  • Scatter plots: Often used to display the relationship between two performance metrics, such as points scored versus minutes played, or a player’s speed versus their accuracy.
  • Radar charts: These can visually compare an athlete’s performance across multiple categories, such as speed, strength, agility, and endurance.
  • Heat maps: They help visualize the spatial distribution of events on the field, such as player movements, passes, or shots taken during a game.

Transportation and Logistics:

  • Geospatial maps: Widely used to visualize routes, distribution centers, and traffic patterns for optimizing transportation and delivery networks.
  • Gantt charts: They help plan and monitor project timelines, vehicle maintenance schedules, and resource allocations.
  • Bar charts: These can display metrics such as fuel consumption, on-time delivery rates, and transportation costs by mode or region.

Each industry has its unique data visualization needs, and selecting the right type of visualization can help professionals uncover valuable insights and make more informed decisions.

By understanding the different types of data visualizations and their applications, you can choose the most effective way to display your data and communicate insights. Microsoft Power BI offers a comprehensive suite of visualization tools, empowering you to create impactful visualizations that drive informed decision-making and business success. Learn more about Power BI here.

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