Data Visualisation

What Is Data Visualisation?

Not everyone can understand how a process works by reading words alone.  In a lot of cases, being able to see it pictorially and in practice enables someone to understand it further.  It becomes more than just theory. For example, in 1869, Charles Joseph Minard, a pioneer in his time in statistical analysis, depicted the downfall of Napoleon’s historic loss of the Russian invasion in 1812.  He did this by orchestrating numerical data on a map of the border between Russia and Poland.

Underneath all his work was the data visualisation process. Data visualisation is a technique usemd to create and analyse the way data is represented such as through the use of graphs and tables.  When data is shown in the most efficient way to a user, it becomes more accessible and easier to understand and use for further research and hypotheses. 

With the ever growing amount of data that is being collected and used, being able to show it effectively is extremely important.  It is an expanding challenge and data science techniques are needed in order to provide solutions.

Effective graphics take advantage of pre-attentive processing and attributes and the relative strength of these attributes. For example, since humans can more easily process differences in line length than surface area, it may be more effective to use a bar chart (which takes advantage of line length to show comparison) rather than pie charts (which use surface area to show comparison).


Send us a message to learn how our Data Visualisation can help your organisation gain a competitive advantage.

Effective Data Visualisation

Ideally, effective data visualisation should:

  1. Show the data
  2. Induce the viewer to think about the substance rather than about methodology, graphic design, the technology of graphic production or something else
  3. Avoid distorting what the data has to say
  4. Present many numbers in a small space
  5. Make large set of data easy to understand
  6. Encourage the eye to compare different pieces of data
  7. Reveal the data at several levels of detail, from a broad overview to the fine structure
  8. Serve a reasonably clear purpose: description, exploration, tabulation or decoration
  9. Be closely integrated with the statistical and verbal descriptions of a data set.

Not actually applying the principles to a data set may lead to incorrect or inaccurate tables or graph.  This then leads to the incorrect conclusion being made from the data, leading to further errors in key decision making and further hypotheses.

Displaying Sets Of Data

Categorical subdivisions are compared against a reference.  A bar chart can show comparison of the actual versus the reference amount.

Comparison between observations represented by two variables (X,Y) to determine if they tend to move in the same or opposite directions. For example, plotting someone’s weight (X) and their height (Y).  A scatter plot is typically used for this message.

A single variable is captured over a period of time, such as the inflation rate over a 10-year period. A line chart may be used to demonstrate the trend.

Categorical subdivisions are measured as percentage.  A pie chart or bar chart can show the comparison of ratios, such as the market share represented by competitors in a market.

Categorical subdivisions are listed in ascending or descending order, such as school class sizes (the measure) by year group (the category, with each year groupo a categorical subdivision) in a school year. A bar chart may be used to show the comparison across the year group.

Frequency Distribution
Shows the number of observations of a particular variable for given interval, such as the number of years in which the stock market return is between intervals such as 0-10%, 11-20%, etc. A histogram, a type of bar chart, may be used for this analysis. A boxplot helps visualize key statistics about the distribution, such as median, quartiles, outliers, etc.

Geographic or Geospatial
Comparison of a variable across a map or layout, such population by country or the number of persons on the various floors of a building. A cartogram is a typical graphic used.

Nominal Comparison
Comparing categorical subdivisions in no particular order, such as the sales volume by product code. A bar chart may be used for this comparison.

Analysts reviewing a set of data may consider whether some or all of the messages and graphic types above are applicable to their task and audience. The process of trial and error to identify meaningful relationships and messages in the data is part of ​data mining​.

Free Consultation!

Want to learn more about how Data Visualisation is being used in your industry? Then contact us to book a Free Consultation and learn how our Data Visualisation capabilities can streamline your business

Data Presentation Architecture

Data presentation architecture (DPA) is a process that sets out to identify, find, manipulate, format and present data in such a way as to optimally communicate meaning and proper knowledge.  It is critical to business intelligence.

DPA is a skill set that includes determining what data is to be chosen, on what schedule and in what what it is to be presented, not just the the most effective way to present the data. Data visualisation techniques are an element of DPA.

The objective of DPA is to provide knowledge in the most efficient and effective way as possible.  This is done by reducing and removing noise, complex and unnecessary data and providing relevant and complete data which displays its meaning.  By doing so can improve understanding and enable better key decisions to be made.

DPA performs the following tasks to provide knowledge from the data:

  1. Creating effective delivery mechanisms for each audience member depending on their role, tasks, locations and access to technology

  2. Defining important meaning (relevant knowledge) that is needed by each audience member in each context

  3. Determining the required periodicity of data updates (the currency of the data)

  4. Determining the right timing for data presentation (when and how often the user needs to see the data)

  5. Finding the right data (subject area, historical reach, breadth, level of detail, etc.)

  6. Utilizing appropriate analysis, grouping, visualization, and other presentation formats.


Click below to book your FREE CONSULTATION!


HQ SEO, Cardiff

The AI Recommendation engine helped me to determine which form of AI was most relevant to grow my business. This meant we were able to learn more about the type of AI which would provide the highest level of ROI for the business. Utilising this has helped our company to grow and expand at a more significant rate.

Tom Buckland - Founder


"ARTIMUS provided us with a cost-effective solution to client onboarding including data visualisations to improve our due diligence processes. The fact the ARTIMUS team has a deep understanding of data interrogation and structuring is a valuable resource in the era of customer intelligence"

David Rees - Director

Fitness Assurance, Manchester

ARTIMUS provided us with excellent digital expertise and support in order to create a bespoke online review facility. We’ve been
able to provide a fast free-to-use website that instantly assists visitors in finding and reviewing their fitness providers. The service provided by ARTIMUS was above and beyond my expectations, with a professional but also personable approach. This level of care and attention has certainly helped the website continuously improve and go from strength to strength. Thank you!

Samantha Smithson - Director

Mindful Work Training, Cardiff

We design and deliver online mindfulness training for organisations, for stress reduction. We needed an interactive website that could perform several functions. We contracted Toby at Artimus to work with us on a portal that could serve the trainee, the client and the us.

The brief was complex, but with Artimus' help we managed to make sense of it all, creating the first stages of a facility that will grow as we do. Artimus staff were patient, accommodating and creative in this process and helped us breathe a sigh of relief when we had a working system.

Simon Michaels - Founder and Director

Greyfly Consulting, Bristol

"ARTIMUS provided us with excellent MVP for our Business risk calculator, We’ve been able to provide a fast free-to-use business assessment solution that instantly highlights the risks a business should be focusing on and what risks they are dealing with well. This has helped not only us but our clients and those using the tool."

Lloyd Skinner - CEO

Rocky Ecommerce, Gibraltar

"We needed a fully functional, exclusive e-commerce platform built within a specific timeframe at a reasonable cost. Because of our extensive requirements, it deterred some other businesses from taking on the project. Artimus was my best alternative which offered services tailored to my specific needs; exceeding my expectations. Their unique solution provided the foundations for business as well as forming an excellent relationship to achieve a common goal. Artimus is a very specialised and professional entity of whom we would recommended to anyone looking to kickstart or revitalise their organisation"

Nathan Stockford - CTO