Multiple views on how to choose a visualization

Steven Franconeri
Apr 24, 2019 · 10 min read

TLDR: Most quick reference guides advise you which visualization to use based on what you want people to see in the data. That’s tougher at the analysis stage, when you don’t yet know what’s there to see. I created a new chooser that’s based instead on the structure of the plotted data.

Imagine that I give you the 8 numbers at left, and ask you to graph them in a display where you can flexibly uncover patterns. I use this example frequently in data visualization workshops, and the typical result is a deer-in-the-headlights look. And these are smart…