• Franco Arda

The 4 most important visualizations?

According to research, we humans tend to prefer "complex over simple." I often find this to be true when I see visualizations from beginners. Equally likely, I find that the more advanced the user is, the simpler the visualizations.

In my opinion, the following four visualizations are used most: 1. BAR CHART shows categorical data on the x-axis vs. a continuous variable on the y-axis.

2. SCATTER PLOT shows the relationship between two continuous variables (x-axis vs. y-axis).

3. HISTOGRAM shows the frequency of a distribution (count on the y-axis and continuous data binned on the x-axis). Technically, a continuous variable that is binned becomes a categorical variable (a.k.a. discretization).

4. LINE CHART shows data (y-axis/continuous) over time (x-axis/categorical.

In the Python world, there's a saying that "complex beats complicated." But we should not forget that often "simple beats complex." Simple often shows that our thinking is clear ... and it's also friendly on our cognitive systems.



Franco Arda, Frankfurt am Main (Germany)                                                                                                                 franco.arda@hotmail.com