Mastering data visualization: 5 essential color selection best practices

Photo by David Pisnoy on Unsplash

As a business intelligence analyst, one of the most critical aspects of your job is communicating data insights effectively. To do that, you need to make sure that the data visualizations you create are not only accurate but also engaging and easy to understand. And one of the key factors that can make or break a visualization is the colour scheme.

Colour selection for data visualization is not just about making things look pretty. It’s about making sure that the message you want to convey is clear and easy to understand.

Following are some best practices for colour selection for data visualization.

1. Consider the audience

The first thing you need to consider when choosing colours for your data visualization dashboard is your audience. Who will be looking at your dashboard? What are their preferences? What do they expect to see? For example, if you’re designing a dashboard for a business audience, you may want to use more conservative colours like blues and grays.

2. Use colour to highlight important data points

One of the main goals of data visualization is to draw attention to the most important data points. You can use colour to help you do that. For example, you might use a different colour to highlight a data point that is outside of a normal range or that represents a significant change.

3. Be consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to colour selection for data visualization. You want to make sure that the colours you use are consistent across your dashboard. This not only makes it easier for your audience to understand the information but also makes your dashboard look more professional.

4. Consider colorblindness

It’s important to consider colorblindness when choosing colours for your data visualization. It’s important to make sure that your colour scheme is still easily understandable to those with color vision deficiencies. You can do this by using colour schemes that have high contrast or by using patterns or textures in addition to colour.

5. Use colour sparingly

Colours should be used sparingly in data visualization. Using too many colours can make your dashboard look cluttered and confusing. Stick to a few key colours that work well together, and use them consistently throughout your dashboard.

In conclusion, colour selection for data visualization is a key aspect of developing successful and engaging data visuals.

  • Consider your audience
  • Use colour to emphasize important data points
  • Be consistent
  • Consider colour blindness
  • Use colour wisely

to create data visualizations that are not only accurate but also visually appealing and easy to understand.