17: Visualisation tools

Think about the role of data in your research, and what formats you’re expected to present it in. Will any of these tools be useful?

Data visualisation is important because it makes the information easier to understand. When presenting numbers or statistics we generally put them in a visual chart or graph rather than a table. Graphs can be understood and interpreted instantly. It’s immediately obvious which column is the highest, etc. Reading data in a table requires a bit more interpretation and gives less immediate impact. So visual formats are very helpful for getting your point across.

Interactive graphs add even more impact because it engages the audience. Showing two or more comparative graphs side by side might make a point, but allowing the reader to slide between them themselves is better because they are engaging with the content more, and can see the “movement”.

Some of those tools where you’re using publicly available data, e.g. from the ABS are handy. There are situations where a researcher might use statistics to back up their points, and this is an easy way to do it.

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