February Edition: All Eyes on Data Visualization

With a boost to your visualization skills you can tell better stories—and reach better decisions.

Photo by Faizan Saeed on Unsplash

“Data storytelling” means different things to different people; the way a data scientist shares their findings, predictions, and insights will vary greatly depending on the context. If there’s one common denominator to all effective data stories, though, it’s the power of a good visual. Maybe it’s the way our brains are wired, or our reluctance to read 100-page reports; maybe charts and plots are just inherently… fun?

Either way, seasoned data practitioners keep returning to the same conclusion: the fanciest ML model using the most cutting-edge algorithms won’t amount to much if your colleagues and stakeholders don’t get why it matters. And often, the fastest way to help them see the light is with well-crafted images. So this month, we’ve collected some of our best recent articles focusing on the strategy and practice of data visualization.

As you all probably know already, it’s a massive topic—one where there’s always more to learn and to explore. So take this wide-ranging selection as a starting point, a trailhead for a longer journey. If you’ve read (or written!) another post around data visualization that you’d like to share with our community, please do—that’s what comments are for!

A Simple Yet Effective 5-Step Framework to Master Data Visualization

A great place to start, with a thorough breakdown of the proposed framework using an example, and with multiple screenshots included.

By Anushiya Thevapalan (6 minutes)

The Psychology behind Data Visualization Techniques

A short excursion into the world of human visual-information processing.

By Elena V Kazakova (13 minutes)

The Viz for Social Good Community — An Analysis Using Python & Tableau

Learn about the Viz for Social Good volunteers, gain helpful tips for your next visualization, and find out how to get involved.

By Payal Patel (7 minutes)

Top Python Libraries for Visualization: A Starting Guide

The guide to plotting scatter plots, heat maps, ridgeline plots, and line graphs in Python.

By Michael Zabolocki (8 minutes)

Signs You Are Using Data Visualization Tools Wrong

There are powerful visualization tools available for data scientists these days, but you need to ensure you make the most out of them.

By Tessa Xie (6 minutes)

Misleading Graphs

An overview of the ways good-looking visualizations can still lead us astray — and how we can and should fix them.

By Maarten Grootendorst (6 minutes)

Visualizing Decision Trees with Pybaobabdt

An open-source package for decision tree visualization and model interpretation.

By Parul Pandey (7 minutes)

How to Create a Map from Geospatial Data in Python

Plotting location data of Indonesian volcanoes into a map using Folium.

By Lia Ristiana (5 minutes)

How to Easily Draw Neural Network Architecture Diagrams

Using the no-code diagrams.net tool to showcase your deep learning models with diagram visualizations.

By Kenneth Leung (5 minutes)

How to Create Publication-Ready Plots with LaTeX

Kickstart your plotting journey with LaTeX using 5 fundamental plot variations.

By Aruna Pisharody (18 minutes)

Creating Beautiful Topography Maps with Python

Who needs GIS when you can build eye-catching 3D topography maps with Python?

By Adam Symington (8 minutes)

Bonus picks if you’re looking to inject your visualizations with a bit more fun:

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