Document Type


Publication Date

January 2015


This paper provides a framework for thinking about meaningful data visualization in ways that can be applied to routine statistics collected by libraries. An overview of common data display methods is provided, with an emphasis on tables, scatter plots, line charts, bar charts, histograms, pie charts, and infographics. Research on “best practices” in data visualization design is presented as well as a comparison of free online data visualization tools. Different data display methods are best suited for different quantitative relationships. There are rules to follow for optimal data visualization design. Ten free online data visualization tools are recommended by the authors.


This is a preprint.