Marketing Best Practices

Data + Storytelling: Finding the Right Visualization Format

Meg Cannistra By Meg Cannistra April 25, 2015

Data storytelling is a great way to give your content a shot of originality. Gathering data is usually pretty straightforward: You field a survey or gather some data points and crunch the numbers. But figuring out how to convey that data in a visual way can pose some challenges. From deciding which type of chart works best to making your data intelligible for your audience, there are many things to consider when choosing the best visualization format.

Before deciding what format to use to convey your data, it’s important to figure out which type of data relationship you want to show. The 4 most common data relationship types are:

  1. Nominal Comparison: a comparison of data categories in no particular order.
  2. Time Series: data organized by time.
  3. Ranking Relationship: data sorted by measurement.
  4. Part-to-Whole: data sorted by how they relate to each other as part of a whole.

Once you’ve chosen the type of relationship you want to convey, telling a unique story through visual data is far less intimidating. Explore our interactive infographic created in partnership with Visage below to learn how to incorporate data storytelling into your content.


  • I’ve just finished drafting the first edition of my bride-to-be interactive magazine. Reading this article helped me learn new ways to integrate interactive elements so I keep my audience engaged & entertained.

    Thanks @ashleytayloranderson !

    Very best,
    Airéca José, Editor in Chief, Aire Design Publishing

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