Clear, engaging, visual communication of complex data, has been scientifically proven to enable improved and faster understanding of information (compared to tabular or poor data visualisation). However, designing effective data visualisations, appropriate to the data being used and the decision needed, is an art as well as a science. Before using any data visualisation software, design principles and practice are needed.

This course is designed to help analysts understand those design principles and learn how to approach effective data visualisation design. Learning from academic and commercial experts in the emerging field of data visualisation, as well as practical group work to apply skills using specific data.

This isn’t about changing analysts into artists, although principles from aesthetics and science will be shared with delegates. Rather this  course empowers analysts with a workflow, and design principles, to select and customise appropriate charts (or interactive data visualisations), for the business decision needed.

The day includes plenty of interactive exercises. There is opportunity to apply theory to real data and improving poor data visualisations. Scientific evidence, for most effective options, is mixed with commercial experience in charts that work.


  • How to produce an effective data visualisation
  • Spotting problems with ineffective charts and labelling
  • Understanding the data types that are your raw material
  • How to select an appropriate chart type to use
  • Learn data visualisation encoding
  • Use data viz design principles to critique your work in progress
  • How a consistent workflow improves your output
  • The role of editorial thinking
  • Practice designing appropriate data visualisations
  • Extra considerations when using maps
  • What to think about when using colour

Training Outcomes:

  • A template workflow to guide your design work
  • Visual Summary to help you select a chart type
  • Online tools to help your colour selections
  • A step-by-step guide to decluttering a chart
  • Over 20 chart types explained
  • Overview of data visualisation software market
  • Learn principles to refine your designs
  • How to ensure ethical representation of data
  • Recommended CPD resource for continued learning


“Great trainer, bridged gap between theory and practice really well” – Adam – Leeds City Council

“The course was very well designed, and the presenter was very knowledgable and made the day enjoyable as well as valuable” – Jin – Guys & St Thomas Foundation TrustIT, Digital and Data

“Thanks again for the training, the course was highly useful and something I would recommend to my colleagues in the future. I’m applying lots of what we learned during the course and refer to the graphic continuum regularly.” – Joeseph – Northumbria University


Paul is an international speaker & chair, at events focused on data, analytics and customer insight. He has been speaking professionally for over 15 years. He is chief blogger for CustomerInsightLeader awarded ‘top 50 blogs in the world’ status (in Customer Insight category) by NG Data for two years running. Feedback on Paul’s chairing and speaking is consistently excellent, with delegates citing his entertaining manner and keeping the content relevant for them.

Former Head of Customer Insights for both Lloyds Banking Group Insurance and Scottish Widows, Paul has over 15 years’ experience of creating & improving customer insight teams, including 25 years’ experience of deriving value from data.

For more information or to make a booking please call 0330 0947 344 or book online

  • Registration
  • Why Data Visualisation matters
    • Data Visualisation definition
    • Using the power of the human eye
    • Interactive exercise (all together)
  • How different data types influence your design
    • Understanding your Audience
    • Data characteristics and the Data Prep
    • The Graphic Continuum (digital takeaway)
    • Interactive exercise (in breakout rooms)
  • Basic charts and how to use them
    • Using Scatter Plots
    • Using Bar Charts
    • Using Line Charts
    • Using Area Charts
    • Using Text & Heatmaps
    • #BadDataViz game (all together)
    • The Power of Small Multiples
  • Coffee Break
  • Visual encoding & your process
    • Introducing visual encoding
    • Worked examples
    • Interactive exercise (in breakout rooms)
    • A data visualisation workflow
    • Challenges to your process
    • Interactive exercise (in breakout rooms)
    • A walkthrough of improving a data visualisation
  • Data Visualisation software options
    • Worked example in Excel to show flexibility (demo)
    • Interactive exercise (in breakout rooms)
    • Review of the market, categorising your options
    • Resources to help your selection process
  • Lunch and Networking
  • Use of colour in Data Visualisations
    • How we see colour & challenges to consider
    • Choice of colour scales for different data (interactive)
    • Tool to help with colour palette (demo)
    • How to limit use to achieve greater focus
  • Use of maps as Data Visualisations
    • When is a map appropriate?
    • Review of basic map types for different data
    • Design options & small multiples
    • Interactive exercise (in breakout rooms)
  • Coffee Break
  • Design principles to guide you
    • Gestalt design principles
    • Other design principles from research
    • Interactive exercise (in breakout rooms)
  • Data Viz Ethics = avoiding charts that lie
    • Edward Tufte’s principles
    • Ways that charts can lie (Alberto Cairo)
    • Sharing examples (homework exercise)
    • Why is this a #BadDataViz?
  • Your next steps (Data Viz CPD)
    • Recommended online tools/resources
    • Recommended blogs
    • Recommended experts on Twitter
    • Recommended books
    • Recommended podcasts
    • Test & Learn mindset
    • Interactive (personal action commitment)
  • Trainer’s Summary and Close

    *Programme subject to change

  • Public Sector Rate: £495.00+VAT
  • Private Sector Rate: £595.00+VAT
  • Voluntary Sector Rate: £445.00+VAT