Sharing data visually

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Sharing data visually

We have discussed data visualisations in as a way to understand data in other lessons, but visualisations are also a powerful way to share data insights and tell stories.

Interactive visualisations allow readers to explore your data on their own. The best visualisations include links to the underlying data, so readers can use it themselves.

Here are some ideas on how to share data visualisations with others…

Tools for simple visualisations

Google Sheets

Google Sheets allows you to publish simple visualisations like the one above. Use the Insert>Chart menus option to create a graphic, then select the visualisation, click the icon in the upper right corner, and choose Publish Chart. This feature provides hyperlinks and HTML code that allow you to add the chart to a blog post or web page.

Google Charts API

Google Charts API allows developers to create charts using Javascript code, which can be embedded in separate HTML pages. The Google Charts API requires programming experience to create the charts.

To learn more, visit Google Charts.

More tools for visualising data


Datawrapper is an online service specifically for creating and sharing visualised data. It was originally designed for journalists, and is very simple to use. However, the free version has limited features.

Tableau Public

Tableau Public is a data visualisation service similar to Datawrapper. Tableau Public is free but requires you to download and install software.

Open-source tools

There are also open source data visualisation resources that offer great flexibility but require programming expertise. Chart.js and D3 can create a wide range of data visualisations; Leaflet is good for creating online maps.

Becoming part of the virtuous cycle

The open data community depends on data users that play an active role in sharing what they learn. When users share their knowledge and experience, open data producers receive feedback and incentives to make improvements and publish additional data.

New and better data benefits users in a process called the “virtuous cycle”. Sharing your knowledge and data whenever possible helps continue the virtuous cycle that makes open data sustainable.

Test your knowledge

Sharing data visually