Working with Data

Data Do’s and Data Don’ts

Is the chart a truthful representation of the data used? Are there too many data points to deal with? Does the dataset have strange outliers that don’t make sense? Here’s a few tips for how to work with data ethically when the struggle is real.

Issue Do Don’t
There’s just too much data!
When using a large dataset, you may have over 10,000 data points! That’s a lot of information to work with and you may only want to use a smaller number of data points so it’s easier.
Take a random and representative sample of 500 or so data points depending on the size of dataset. If not all the data is relevant to your investigation, you can use the sample that is relevant; if your investigation is on high school students and your data set has people of all ages, you can filter out the non-high school student ages. Don’t pick a small number of data points from a large data set. Don’t pick out data points that support your claim! That would be unethical.
More to come!

Data Analysis for Chart-Making

Venngage is not built for data analysis, so when working with raw data, it can be a daunting task to create meaningful charts for your infographic. Because of different computing limitations in different classrooms, we recommend using Google Sheets. Google Sheets is a free web app which makes it easily accessible to anyone with a connection to the internet. It can support the data analysis phase that precedes data visualization and has powerful tools that allow users to quickly develop summary data from raw case data.

Here is a series of tutorials to support creating different types of charts or displaying data relationships.

Title Description Download
Creating a Time Series Chart Is your data time-based? Seconds? Days? Years? Use this tutorial to guide you on creating a time-series chart. PDF
Creating a US Data Map When your data is all 50 states, it gets tricky! This tutorial guides you through setting up your map data and working it into Venngage’s US data map. PDF
Graphing Distributions Making even a simple bar graph is not so easy when you have 2000 data points to count up. This tutorial shows you how to do it quickly using Google Sheets. PDF
Visualizing Relationships between Variables Trying to show how one variable affects another? Scatter plots help your readers make sense of the connection between two sets of numerical data. PDF
Comparing Across Categories Not all data are numbers. Sometimes they present themselves as text, or categories that represent the data point, such as gender and race. To make sense of them, you will need to compare across categories. PDF
Assembling and Displaying Histograms When your data is any number in a range, you will need a histogram. Use Google Sheets to set up the data and then modify Venngage’s bar chart to make it happen. PDF