Data visualisation/Design resources

At work I recently was asked about resources to learn design principles for data visualisation.

I offered to provide some, but when I started looking into it, I realised that there is likely not just a few resources that teach you the basics. There are tons of them, focusing on different aspects and all providing their unique lens for the subject. Rather than keeping it in emails, I decided to make it public for people to use. I am happy to get further suggestions, however I will leave it up to my discretion whether to include them based on the overall usefulness and overlap with other sources.

So here is a list of resources I like and recommend, grouped by topic/ main area of focused in no particular order:

Colour

Arguably one of the most important aspects and one that applies to literally every single visualisation:

Dashboards

General Graph design

There are certain rules that apply to all charts and data, independently of tools. These resources cover most of them.

Tableau specific

There are some Tableau specific details one should take into account when developing dashboards

UX/Design

This section includes generic design references that can and should be applied to data visualisation as well.

Data Community Projects

The data community (and the Tableau one in particular) has created a wealth of community projects in order to help improve peoples skills and to provide data sets to play around and practise with. Here is my most recent list as of May 2022:

  • Back 2 Viz Basics (bi-weekly, practise design and visualisation basics)
  • WorkoutWednesday (weekly, technical challenges for PowerBI and Tableau user)
  • SportsvizSunday (monthly, sports themed, open prompts)
  • Real World Fake Data (library of industry specific data to create dashboards on)
  • ProjectHealthViz (library of health related data sets and community dashboards)
  • Storytelling With Data Challenges (monthly, tool agnostic challenges with specific prompts)
  • IronQuest (monthly, different themes with the prompt to create an interesting, well designed dashboard that could be submitted to IronViz)
  • Viz for Social Good (monthly, data supplied by non-profits in order to raise awareness for their organisation/cause through visualisations)
  • 30DayChartChallenge (yearly in April, daily prompts to create charts of a certain type)
  • 30DayMapChallenge (yearly in November, daily prompts to create maps of a certain type)
  • IronViz (yearly, Tableau’s dataviz competition)
  • MakeoverMonday (weekly – discontinued, various datasets and visualisations with the prompt to improve on the original)

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