Data Visualization with Digital Signage

Digital signage can improve a huge number of typical workplace activities, and one of the big ones is turning pages of numbers into charts or graphs, which can communicate a lot more data in a lot less time.  With that in mind, here are a few tips for turning numbers into easily digestible pictures!

Data Visualization1. Match the type of data to the graph. This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind with data visualization.  In order to visualize your data well, you need to take the time to learn about different types of graphs and what kind of information each of them is best for.  You wouldn’t want to use a line graph to show a breakdown of your budget, while a pie graph would be ideal for showing that 20% of your budget goes to marketing, 30% to research and development, etc.  On the other hand, if you want to look at how your profits are changing over time, a line graph would be perfect.

2. Choose colors that make sense.  This is one of the ways that digital signage helps with data visualization: your printer can easily reduce the vibrancy of the colors you see on your screen, but displaying a graph on a digital display ensures that the colors stay roughly the same.  It’s important that digital signage can help make color choice easier, because even if your graph is otherwise great, the colors you use could make things confusing.  If you use colors that are too similar to each other, or colors that have strong associations with something else, you could make your graph confusing.  For example, we so strongly associate red with “stop” and green with “go” that making red correspond to profits could lead to confusion.  Work with common associations, not against them—red means hot or stop, blue means cold or water, etc. It might seem silly, but it really will help with understanding.

3. Label well! It seems like something that might be obvious, but it isn’t always!  Make sure that your labels are clear—including what kind of units you’re using (Thousands of dollars? Hundreds of units?), and what your abbreviations mean.

All in all, digital signage can help a lot with data visualization, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to pay attention to how you represent your data. Good luck, and happy graphing!

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