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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. More

Data Visualization: Getting Started

Introductory guide to library offered data visualization services.

How do I get started?

The easiest way to get started is to decide what trend you need to show. Breaking things down into the following four categories will help you select the appropriate graphic type for your data.

  • Comparison
  • Composition
  • Distribution
  • Relationship

What am I trying to show?

Comparison

Examples of graphics for comparison.
Column Graph Line Graph Bar Chart Map
column chart line graph bar chart map

If you want to compare elements in your data, your four best options are: column graph, line graph, bar chart or map. 

Composition

Examples of graphics for composition.
Pie Chart Stacked Bar Chart Tree Map Map
pie chart stacked bar chart tree map categorical map

If you want to show the make-up of elements in your data, your four best options are: pie chart, stacked bar chart, tree map or map. 

Distribution

Examples of graphics for distribution.
Line Graph Histogram Scatter plot Map
line graph histogram scatterplot distribution map

If you want to show the distribution of elements in your data, your four best options are: line graph, histogram, scatter plot or map. 

Relationships

Examples of graphics to show relationships.
Scatter plot Network diagram Bubble graph
scatter plot network diagram

bubble graph

Concept Model Map  
concept model Flow map  

If you want to show the relationships between elements in your data, your five best options are: scatter plot, network diagram, bubble graph, concept model or map.