In This Chapter
Understanding the role of text in data visualizations
Getting the most out of text
Remember the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, although this saying may hold true for museum art, it doesn't apply to most data visualizations. One of the main reasons why users request data visualizations is to get away from tons of reports with loads of data and text that either take too long to interpret or are too difficult to understand.
If you want to create truly powerful data visualizations, adding some context in the form of text is one of the most effective ways to communicate your data. Take a stop sign, for example. Have you ever noticed that besides the unique shape and color of it, the text STOP is right in the middle? (See Figure 5-1.) Globally this is probably one of the most recognized signs — identifiable just by its shape and color. The text on the sign text just makes it that much easier to recognize what the sign is telling you. There is no room for misinterpretation; the stop sign is a good example ...