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The Art of Storytelling with Data Visualisation

The Art of Storytelling with Data Visualisation


As the driving force behind artificial intelligence, data is big business these days. Increased access to user-generated information has led to sweeping changes across all industries, making data one of the most valuable commodities in the world

However, there’s no point in data exploration unless you know how to communicate information clearly. Data visualisation tools play an important role in this process, providing the building blocks to create engaging narratives. 

If you’re considering a career change or if you want to enhance your existing skill set by studying a data science course, two of the single units offered at Monash Online (which form part of the Graduate Diploma of Data Science) teach the art of storytelling with data visualisation. 

What is data visualisation?

Data visualisation is the discipline of showcasing information in the form of a graph or picture. Designed to display vast sets of data in a readable format, it allows for the simple presentation of complex analytics. 

Now that data plays such an important role in technological advancements, demand has grown for data analysis. It’s crucial for businesses to grasp concepts and patterns in as short a time as possible, but not everyone has the skills to make sense of such complicated information. This is where data visualisation tools come into play – easy-to-understand pictures and graphs take the difficulty out of finding meaning in data.

From identifying the causes of global warming to tracking consumer behaviour, data visualisations can be used to tell almost any story in a more enriching or insightful way. Enrolling in a data science course will help you master this art form.

How do you tell a story with data visualisation?

The first step in storytelling with data is to identify a noteworthy narrative. Data is nothing more than an assortment of numbers until you turn it into a story, so it’s crucial for data scientists to find a tale worth telling.

Start by picking out the most important insights based on your audience. Considering who you’re talking to will help you determine the most engaging aspects of your story. If you’re presenting to a stakeholder, data visualisation is a great way to showcase how you’ve increased conversions and generated leads. When targeting consumers, you can use data to tell a story they identify with.

Once you’ve found the story you want to tell, you’ll be ready to turn your data into an engaging visualisation. Whether you want to use a simple bar chart or an animated infographic, there are endless ways to visualise data.

Data Visualisation Tools

Even if you’ve unearthed a great narrative, it won’t be of any use if you don’t understand the technical side of data visualisation. Many of the units offered at Monash Online teach students how to use data visualisation tools and programs, including:

FIT5147 - Data exploration and visualisation

This unit covers the foundational principles of data visualisation. Some knowledge of programming with R is required. Known for its ability to produce quality plots with minimal codes, R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. 

It’s renowned for being extremely flexible, easy to use, and popular among data analysts. It’s so prevalent that being able to offer knowledge of R programming can make you more valuable in the eyes of potential employers.

FIT9133 - Programming foundations in python

Python has graphing libraries packed with features that data scientists can use to create engaging pictures and graphs. It lets you import data sets easily and reduces the amount of code you’ll need to write when building your data visualisation. 

Business Insider rates Python as one of the easiest programming languages to get started with, making this unit essential for anyone looking to learn more about data visualisation. Python programming tools range from basic to specialised, so it’s suitable for different skill levels. It also allows students to advance their experience in D3, an open-source JavaScript library. Being able to list programming foundations in Python on your resume is a great way to enhance your employability.

The Benefits of Telling Data-Driven Stories

If a picture is worth a thousand words, data visualisation is worth literally millions of numbers. Technology is now advancing at such a rapid pace that our brains can’t keep up – data visualisation is key to bridging the gap between complex information and our ability to interpret it correctly. This means there’s immeasurable value in mastering the art of storytelling with data visualisation tools, especially for ambitious data scientists.

If this is something you’re interested in delving into, check out the Graduate Diploma of Data Science course entry requirements today. Alternatively, you could book a 15-minute consultation with one of our Enrolment Advisors to learn more about Monash data science courses.