Upon joining The Data School, the first valuable lesson that I have learnt is Data Visualization Best Practice. I will not go through the details of it in this blog, but I have included a link to Thiago Lima’s Data Visualization Best Practices Handbook | Tableau Public, which demonstrates all the points of best practice very nicely. It has also won Tableau Viz of the Day. It is worth checking out I promise.

Instead, I would like to show you an exercise that we got from our Data 101 training session, how I approached to identify areas of improvement for a given dashboard in terms of Data Best Practice, and how I would remake it applying best practice principles. Personally, I think this is a very good exercise which has helped me a lot in learning the foundation for creating data visualization. Let’s have a look together.

1. Analyzing the dashboard to identify best practice violations.

2. Map out idea to remake the dashboard with data best practice applied.

I used Excalidraw | Hand-drawn look & feel • Collaborative • Secure for drawing out my idea of how I would like to rebuild the dashboard to better communicate the story to end users. The most basic yet important concept that I have learnt through this exercise is using pre-attentive attributes (length, color, size, etc.) appropriately would be very powerful in telling the story and helping the end users to make decisions.

Understanding and applying data visualization best practice would be indeed helpful in enhancing your design style and make your dashboard not only beautiful but also meaningful. Looking at other people’s thinking process when I just started has helped me a lot in my learning, so I hope showing my learning process would also help you as much.

Thanks for reading, see you next time!



Thao Phuong Tran
Author: Thao Phuong Tran

Thao is an experienced 3PL Warehouse Administrator and Retail Assistant Manager. Driven by a passion for data analytics and information technology, she takes pride in providing the best analysis to help businesses in making data driven decisions and tackling their issues. As a Data Analyst Consultant at The Data School, her goals include learning from the best people in the data industry and up skilling herself with relevant and powerful tools like Tableau, Alteryx, Power BI, etc. She adores applying process automation to improve her productivity and efficiency at work. When Thao is not keeping busy with data, you can find her enjoying collecting Pandora charms and baking chocolate mint cookies. She also loves dining out and a meal that never fails her is spicy Pad Thai paired with a Vodka Sunrise!