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This content is taken from the University of Leeds & Institute of Coding's online course, Evidence and Data Collection for Problem Solving. Join the course to learn more.

Give it a go

In this final exercise, you will create a simple chart, graph or data visualisation that shows some information about your data set.

Firstly, select your data. You can use Aisha’s data, which you can download as a spreadsheet from the downloads section below. You could also choose to use your own data, or find an open data set on the internet:

Think about what kind of chart is best to show your data. Is a line chart better than a bar chart, or a pie chart? You could even make a map using Aisha’s deliveries data: it contains both postcodes and location details information in the data set.

We recommend that you work on a laptop or desktop computer for this step.

To make your visualisation, you can use free tools available online:

  • RawGraphs allows you to cut and paste spreadsheet data to make graphs. Once you have uploaded your data, you can then choose from a selection of charts before customising further.

  • DataWrapper will also allow you to create maps.

  • FastCharts is a very clear chart creator from the Financial Times. You will need to upload data in CSV or TSV format, or select some of the sample data they have provided.

You could also use spreadsheet software you are already familiar with, such as Excel, Google Sheets, Numbers for Mac, or presentation software such as Powerpoint or Keynote. You can find links to all these in the See also section below.

Remember the tips from the previous step: keep your visualisation clear, and make sure it is well labelled. Keep your colours restrained, and avoid ‘chart junk’.

Think about the story you are telling and information you are getting across. Give your visualisation a title, and share a couple of sentences about what your data shows. What’s most interesting about it? What should people look out for? What conclusions should they draw from it?

When you’ve made your visualisation, share it in this Padlet board - you may need to take a screenshot.

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This article is from the free online course:

Evidence and Data Collection for Problem Solving

University of Leeds