Designing Data Visualizations to Successfully Tell a Story

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A posit::conf(2023) Workshop by Cédric Scherer

📆  September 17, 2023
⏰  09:00–17:00 CDT
🏨  Grand Hall K

Course Overview

Communicating data through meaningful and easily accessible visualization is a critical competence for most data-related roles including data scientists, analysts, scientific researchers, and managers. A well-designed graphic is able to inform, spark engagement, explain patterns, and drive decisions and actions. At the same time, poor choices in the design process can complicate interpretation or even, intentionally or unintentionally, mislead the audience.

The aim of this course is to demystify the creative processes of data visualization design to turn data into a meaningful story. Participants will learn helpful tips and tricks to create appealing and informative data visualizations that are not “just showing the numbers” but successfully tell a story. We will cover principles of good data visualization design, explore different options to display data, and discuss ways to guide and engage viewers with the aim to create impactful graphics. The course also features sessions on picking suitable yet beautiful colors, what to consider when choosing and pairing typefaces, and the layout of graphics, also in the context of dashboard building.

Is this course for me?

This course will be appropriate for you if you:

  • want to understand and learn the art of communicating data with impactful visualizations,
  • aim to improve your data visualization design to create effective and informative graphics, and
  • are willing to spend a bit more time choosing the right chart, proper color palettes, and suitable fonts along with additional elements to guide the viewer.

Headshot of the course instructor Cédric Scherer


Dr Cédric Scherer (he/him) is a graduated computational ecologist with a passion for design. After his PhD, he combined his expertise in analyzing and visualizing large data sets in R with his passion to become an independent data visualization designer and specialist. Cédric has created visualizations across all disciplines, purposes, and styles and regularly teaches data visualization principles, the R programming language, and ggplot2. Due to regular participation in social data challenges such as #TidyTuesday, he is now well known for complex and visually appealing figures, entirely made with ggplot2, that look as if they have been created with a vector design tool.

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