How to Annotate your Data Visualizations Effectively?

From advertising to news to social media, today’s world has become more visual than ever and that too with good reasons. As the significant percentage of people are visual learners, people can understand and retain information represented visually better in comparison to verbal learning.

Visual representation of data helps in attracting the attention of the audience and makes them understand the information more easily.

Due to a large amount of data available and the need for effective information communication, data visualization has become a vital part of an organisation’s processes.

Here are a few tips to annotate your data more effectively:

• Use good visualization practices

When you visualize your data through data visualization, it’s important to make the visualization clear and understandable to the best possible extent. So, you should be aware of your audience, know which information you should include and exclude, and present information that is easy and quick to understand.
When you create a chart, make use of annotations such as shapes and text labels so that the chart becomes more informative and can be interpreted easily. It can make the information much clear by offering better insights.

• Make your annotations helpful

When there is a drastic change in data, the shift in data may leave your audience what actually happened. Though the chart you present is accurate as well as explanatory, adding text to the data visualization can make a great difference by presenting the main point better.

• Keep it simple

Make sure that you highlight that information that is more important rather than making your chart cluttered. Though charts are valuable to offer much information in a little space, it may not be the case always. Annotations are very helpful to make the audience focus on the important point. However, you need to plan your annotations well and decide what you want to explain and what details you should include. Ensure that you don’t clutter your data. So, when you make your chart, it should be evenly and properly spaced and have easily understandable annotations.

• Annotations shouldn’t obscure the data

Make sure that your data is not overshadowed by annotations. Careful positioning of annotations is extremely important. Place the annotations off of the chart area so that it doesn’t obscure the data.

• Annotations should be concise

To convey the meaning clearly, make sure that the annotations you use are concise. Use as few words as possible, so that the audience derive the information easily.