Resources for interpreting and creating data visualisations (datavis) that we have talked about in the free classes are listed below. I will continue to add to this over time. Please contact me if there’s a resource you know of that I should add.

An interactive guide to five key features to be aware of when interpreting data visualisations

A picture of the page on the 'Seeing Data' website that allows readers to explore the top 5 things to look for when reading a data visualisation

Have a go rating some data visualisations by whether (1) you like them and (2) you learnt something

A picture of the 2 by 2 grid from Seeing Data that can be used to compare data visualisations to each other on two measures: like and learn

Brush up your spreadsheet skills: sorting and filtering, doing sums in the spreadsheet, using pivot tables

Screenshot of the School of Data's 'data fundamentals' web page

Having considered what sort of data you have and what your key message is, explore the range of possible chart types.

They are grouped on this poster by the ‘data relationship’ they show.

Click on the image to be taken to a page where you can download a PDF version of this poster.

A reduced version of the FT's 'Visual vocabulary' poster. The image links to the page where you can download a PDF of this resource

Helpful, practical guidance for getting started with creating charts, demonstrated using the chart tool Datawrapper.

Screen shot of one advice page from the Datawrapper academy website, this one about line charts

Explore many examples of the different chart types out there, and some of the tools you can use to create them

Screenshot of the 'Data Visulisation Catalogue' homepage

Screenshot of the 'Chartmaker Directory' homepage

Over and above Excel*, some popular tools for creating data visualisations are:

Google Spreadsheets





And you can see another 320+ options on Andy Kirk’s Visualising Data resource page

*Some resources to help you get more out of Excel:

Icon libraries

Case study

National Records of Scotland have built-in up an impressive data visualisation capability in-house. Read how they did it here, and see examples of their work here.


On tables, graphs and infographics, from the Government Statistical Service

On graphic design, from The Wellcome Trust

Sheffield City Council open data

See if Sheffield City Council has an open dataset that’s of interest to you, and explore it visually using the online tools too.