You’re often analyzing your social media efficiency and getting some attention-grabbing insights. However how do you talk these insights to related stakeholders? Not everybody’s an analyst who can simply make sense of the information to extract actionable info. That’s the place knowledge visualization is available in, serving to you make knowledge extra comprehensible for everybody concerned.

Information visualization helps remodel massive knowledge units (assume massive knowledge) into one thing that’s simply processed at a look. This makes it an important a part of your social media reporting efforts. On this publish, we take a deep dive into what knowledge visualization is all about and what function it performs in what you are promoting. Let’s get began.

What’s knowledge visualization?

Information visualization is the method of presenting knowledge and knowledge in a visible format. It entails the usage of charts, graphs, maps and different visible components for translating knowledge. These visualizations make it simple to course of and perceive developments and patterns in a given knowledge set.

What are the benefits and downsides of information visualization?

Visualizing knowledge improves understanding and communication throughout the board. Contemplating this, it’s laborious to think about that there could be downsides to it. Data visualization can generally result in misunderstandings, so it’s essential to contemplate each the benefits and downsides earlier than you delve into it.


Enhanced knowledge understanding

Visualized knowledge is simpler to grasp for individuals of all talent units and expertise ranges. You don’t should be an analyst to interpret what the information is saying.

Fast identification of patterns and developments

With knowledge visualizations, outliers in knowledge units are prominently highlighted. This lets you rapidly spot patterns, relationships and developments with out having to pore by mountains of information.

Efficient communication

As visualized knowledge is simpler to grasp, there’s a decrease danger of confusion and misinterpretation. So you possibly can successfully share info with related events, leading to improved communication.

Improved decision-making

Visualization rapidly interprets enormous knowledge units into actionable insights. This makes it simpler to resolve what to do along with your social media data.

Enhanced data-driven storytelling

Information visualization permits efficient storytelling with big data. Colours, patterns and different visible components assist individuals to visualise the story that your knowledge is making an attempt to inform.


Misinterpretation of visuals

Should you’re not cautious with the way you current the information, the visualization could not successfully convey your message. This leaves extra room for individuals to misread the information and provide you with incorrect conclusions.

Overlooking context and particulars

Generally, visualization leads to an oversimplification of information. So individuals draw inexact conclusions as a result of they overlook important context and particulars.

Choice bias and distortion

By itself, knowledge visualization leaves interpretation as much as the viewers. Which means every particular person applies their very own choice bias to grasp the information. This muddies the waters, leading to distorted insights.

Information visualization and massive knowledge

Huge knowledge refers to very large volumes of information which are too complicated to handle utilizing conventional processing instruments. The sort of knowledge is extraordinarily numerous and arrives at a excessive velocity, which makes it all of the tougher to research.

On the similar time, organizations can’t afford to disregard massive knowledge. Resulting from its excessive quantity, excessive velocity and excessive selection, it has the potential to generate a wealth of insights utilizing the suitable analytics instruments.

That’s the place knowledge visualization is available in, serving to you make sense of the trillions of information accessible at your disposal. Superior knowledge analytics filter out the noise from massive knowledge to extract an important info. Visualization then helps you inform tales by highlighting these key particulars. So the 2 ideas work intently collectively to drive data-driven decision-making.

What are the three C’s of information visualization?

Should you’re going to benefit from knowledge visualization, a vital step is to keep away from the drawbacks highlighted above. Comply with the three C’s of information visualization to obviously and precisely current your knowledge.


Be clear concerning the message you’re conveying along with your visualization. What does the information imply? How does it present worth to the viewers? Eye-catching graphs could also be good to have a look at, however they’re of no use to stakeholders except they current essential info.


It’s simple to misinterpret and misread info when there’s no consistency in your visualization. The identical guidelines and visible kinds ought to apply throughout the board.

Should you’re utilizing one colour to signify one thing in a single bar chart, the that means needs to be comparable throughout different graphs and charts. For instance, if inexperienced represents a rise in gross sales in a single chart, it ought to signify a decline in detrimental sentiment in one other chart.


By itself, knowledge can solely inform you a lot. It doesn’t inform you if a quantity is nice or unhealthy. For instance, in case your click-through price is 4.5%, is {that a} good quantity? Including context to your visualization is essential for a extra complete understanding of the information.

Stakeholders ought to have one thing to check the information in opposition to to make higher sense of it. Within the instance above, industry benchmarks and former quarter numbers can add context.

What are the 5 steps in knowledge visualization?

Conserving the above in thoughts, listed here are 5 steps to construct higher knowledge visualizations.

Step 1: Be clear on the query

What query does your visualization purpose to reply? Have a transparent concept of your goal so you possibly can determine the viewers you wish to attain and the kinds of knowledge and evaluation you want. You possibly can then perceive the kinds of visualizations that will probably be handiest for conveying your message. This step serves as the muse on your visualization efforts.

Step 2: Know your knowledge and begin with fundamental visualizations

When you’ve laid out your goal, resolve on the information you’ll want to reply your query. Based mostly on this, you’ll perceive whether or not you possibly can accumulate current knowledge, otherwise you’ll must create your personal.

No matter the kind of knowledge, begin with fundamental visualizations to place all of it collectively. This helps you retain issues so simple as attainable so it’s simpler to derive actionable info.

Step 3: Determine messages of the visualization, and generate essentially the most informative indicator

The subsequent step entails cleansing up your knowledge and analyzing it to extract important insights. What do these numbers imply? Are there any recognizable patterns or developments? What messages are you able to convey with the information?

This is without doubt one of the most essential steps because it determines the accuracy and relevance of your knowledge visualizations.

Step 4: Select the suitable chart sort

The readability and effectiveness of your visualization closely depend upon the kind of chart you employ. Determine on the most effective chart sort by understanding the message you wish to ship.

Some charts present patterns in knowledge whereas others make comparisons between totally different variables. However extra on that within the subsequent part.

Step 5: Direct consideration to the important thing messages

Now it’s time to create your chart. Ensure that to incorporate related context so it’s simpler to interpret the message.

And don’t simply lay out numbers. Flip them into actionable insights. If there are any key messages or takeaways, you’ll want to spotlight them so individuals know what to deal with.

Finest kinds of knowledge visualization

Questioning what kinds of charts you need to use on your visualization? Listed below are a few of the greatest kinds of knowledge visualization and their use instances.

  • Tables – Information offered in rows and columns. Finest for supporting different, extra complicated kinds of visualization.
Sprout Social Listening Demographics breakdown presented in a table format
  • Charts – Tabular and graphical presentation of information, normally alongside two axes. Some examples embrace bar charts, pie charts and Gantt charts. Finest for presenting categorical knowledge.
Sprout Social listening competitive analysis report presented in a pie chart
  • Graphs – Diagram presenting knowledge with strains, curves, areas, factors or segments. Some examples embrace bullet graphs, line graphs, scatterplots and community graphs. Finest for recognizing correlations or deviations.
Sprout Social Instagram Stories Performance presented in a graph
  • Maps – Information offered in map kind. Some examples embrace warmth maps, treemaps and geographical maps. Finest for demonstrating hierarchical relationships and location-specific knowledge.
Sprout Social Listening Demographics Location map
  • Infographics – A mix of phrases and visuals that signify knowledge. Finest for including context and extra particulars.

Finest examples of information visualization

Undecided what an incredible knowledge visualization ought to appear to be? Take a look at a few of these greatest examples to encourage you.

London Selfie Demographics

Selfiecity put collectively the next attention-grabbing knowledge visualization of selfie demographics in London. Half of a bigger mission finding out selfies of the world, the visualization under exhibits a chart evaluating London selfies. It compares the variety of selfies taken by males vs. girls throughout totally different age ranges. There are highlights of key findings on the left-hand panel for ease of understanding.

chart of London selfie demographics comparing number of selfies taken by men vs. women across different age ranges

Picture Supply: Selfiecity

Corruption Notion Index developed an interactive map showcasing the worldwide Corruption Notion Index. Should you hover over every nation on the map, you get an summary of its CPI rating and the way it has modified for the reason that final yr. Clicking on the nation offers you an in depth report outlining how the rating has modified over time.

world map with different countries color-coded according to their CPI score and Ireland's CPI scorecard expanded

Picture Supply:

The World’s Inhabitants at 8 Billion

In 2022, the world’s inhabitants reached 8 billion. Visible Capitalist offered the information utilizing the next visualization. Traces separate international locations and colours separate continents. It’s a easy but complete method to visualize the information for everybody to grasp.

map of different countries sized according to their population

Picture Supply: Visual Capitalist

Information visualization instruments and software program

The easiest way to obviously and precisely visualize your knowledge is through the use of the suitable visualization instruments and software program. This may occasionally embrace platforms with built-in analytics that present visualized knowledge experiences. It might additionally embrace software program designed particularly for knowledge visualization. Listed below are some choices you need to think about.

Sprout Social

Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media management software with sturdy visualization capabilities. The built-in analytics mechanically measure your efficiency throughout main social media platforms. The platform then presents the information in a visible format to simplify your knowledge analytics. It makes use of a mix of graphs, charts, tables and maps to create fascinating visualizations of your efficiency.

Sprout permits you to construct all kinds of shareable knowledge visualizations to assist your social media reporting. This contains visualizations on your total account efficiency and profile exercise. You possibly can create team-specific experiences with visualizations presenting metrics related to every staff. It even permits you to break down experiences to trace particular kinds of efficiency resembling engagement and productiveness.

Analytics Reports dashboard on Sprout Social with the option to create different types of reports


Tableau is a visible analytics platform for creating actionable and easy-to-understand knowledge visualizations. It permits you to unlock complete insights by connecting to built-in knowledge from any supply.

The platform processes this knowledge to ship predictions and proposals utilizing Einstein AI. This minimizes the necessity to write your personal algorithms, which streamlines your knowledge analytics course of. You possibly can then construct visualizations in just some clicks utilizing the drag-and-drop editor.

cartoon Einstein presenting the Einstein Discovery dashboard on Tableau with different charts, graphs and numbers

Picture Supply: Tableau

Google Charts

Google Charts is a set of instruments for constructing interactive charts to show reside knowledge in your website. Select from totally different chart choices that greatest match the information you wish to current. Then customise current designs to visually match your web site. Google Charts permits you to hook up with your knowledge in actual time so you possibly can current dynamic knowledge to website guests.

pie chart sample on Google Charts

Picture Supply: Google Charts

Further assets

Serious about studying extra about knowledge visualization? Take a look at the next assets to brush up in your visualization abilities.

Making knowledge speak with visualization

Visualization is a robust method to translate your knowledge right into a message everybody can perceive. On the similar time, it’s essential to current the information clearly and persistently to reduce the chance of misinterpretation. This helps you get your message throughout extra successfully to show knowledge into motion.

Benefit from Sprout’s Social Media Analytics instruments to show complicated social efficiency knowledge into visuals. Get a complete have a look at how your social profiles and content material are performing. Then put these visualizations collectively into actionable experiences to share along with your staff.

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