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Five rules to apply for a great data visualization

February 12, 2019


1.START SMALL > A sample of  indicators is more useful than 3 pages of charts


Before starting a data vizualisation project it’s mandatory to ask to the stakeholders what kind of requirements they have: sources of data, type of reports, pain points from the existing charts, etc.


Then, for each request, define a priority in terms of data availability, business priority and then draft for internal validation the exact definition for each KPI.


Once the framework is clear we suggest you to apply the agile methodology and build the dashboard per ste:share a first version with 60% of the scope, ask some beta users to share their feedbacks and iterate.


For more info about the agile methodology in Digital Analytics >


2.KEEP IT SIMPLE > make sure you are using the right chart


Something crucial and often wrong: which chart should use to monitor an information?


The pie chart is not the right option to monitor the performance but the repartition, a time series with a daily granularity is very often difficult to read and a sunburst is beautiful but might be difficult to read.


There is a selection diagram created by Andrew Abela that should help you pick up the right chart for your data type.


3.HUMAN FIRST > Technology (Tableau, Power BI and co.) is an enabler, not a solution itself


Too often, a brand chooses a solution provider instead of defining internal needs and projects’ objectives. As the data vizualisation project will be lasting for at least 5 years, take time to discuss the project internally (not only with your team) to define the expectations of involved people.

  • What kind of data do you want as a priority in this dashboard?

  • Which ones do you have access immediately and with which level of quality and ease?

  • Will the future users beo using a mobile to check the report?

  • How many people will be usingthe same dashboard?

  • Do you want someone to be in charge of the project evolution or do you want a third party?

  • Is there anyone or team available, skilled and interested in taking in charge this project?


4.TECHNOLOGY SECOND > Think twice before purchasing the best-of-breed


Tool selection is critical, and the salesman won’t help you in X years if you have a problem with the tool. Take time to meet technology providers, ask other companies what kind of tool they use, define exactly what is the project framework and allocate resources; if a brand is paying 100kUSD for a tool, it’s mandatory to set the same amount aside for the human resources: set up, onboarding and follow up.


And it's not because you know the guy from Oracle or Google that this is the tool that meets the needs of your business. Sometime a small solution, a new technology provider or an open source technology could be the best option.

Example of tools for the documentation: Superset from Apache, d3.js, DataStudio, etc.

5.DOCUMENTATION THIRD > Maintain and document the project


Once the dashboard is ready there is still something really important to consider. Store somewhere all the information the future product owner should know.

  • Name of the report data set, variables, queries and rules,

  • Variable definition and data transformation explanation,

  • Link toward other documents, screenshots, comments,

  • Process to update the dashboard, to receive feedbacks and alerts

Example of tools for the documentation: Airtable, Github, Google sheet


For further info, you can meet us, call us, message us or take a look at our website


Talk to you soon!




Created in 2017, DRIVE is a digital performance company providing clients with a data-driven marketing strategy, powered by skilled talents, reliable data and scalable technology system. Certified on major analytics and conversion solutions such as Google Analytics, AT Internet and Adobe Analytics, we combine our expertise to meet your business expectations. With experience in both brand and agency matters and working within international environments for more than ten years, we can accompany you in facing your challenges.


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