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Effective data visualisation is the key to better decisions, stakeholder influencing and trend spotting. From preparing for a presentation to understanding interactions between visuals, we’ve got data visualisation tips and tricks that will give you the edge.

Our long-standing Effective Data Visualisation training course has given hundreds of professionals the tools and techniques to turn data into key infographics, convincing messages and easily understandable information.

Through interactive practical exercises, understand the key principles to presenting data and how they can apply to your work; learn about the different types of visualisations; gain quick and repeatable visual tricks that draw attention to the key information and discover what free visualisation tools are available.

This is not a laptop-based course on how to use software, but more focused on the principles of data visualisation.

trainer photo
Robert Grant
Trainer, Coach and Writer on Statistics

Robert is a trainer, coach and writer on statistics and working in data science, especially data visualisation and Bayesian models.

He taught statistics and research methods to postgraduate clinical research students at St George’s Medical School and Kingston University (2010-2017), and contributed to many health services and biomedical research projects in this time. His freelance clients include Harvard Medical School, The Economist, and the Cabinet Office.

He is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and served on their statistical computing committee from 2012-16. He worked on clinical audits, analysing hospital quality and safety ...

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Learning Outcomes

  • Develop a toolkit of techniques to share with colleagues
  • Learn design tips and tricks that can quickly improve your data presentations
  • Discover free online tools and resources that will add impact to your data visualisations
  • Learn about the basic chart types and how to choose the best one for a dataset
  • Learn the key principles of data visualisation and how to apply them to your own work
  • Develop the skills required to identify the story in the data and tell it with maximum impact
All the Understanding ModernGov courses are Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certified, with signed certificates available upon request for event.

Enquire About In-House Training

To speak to someone about a bespoke training programme, please contact us:
0800 542 9414
[email protected]


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09:00 - 09:30


09:30 - 10:00

Trainer’s Welcome and Clarification of Learning Objectives

10:00 - 10:30

Why Does Data Visualisation Matter?

  • Understand the reasons why data is a crucial way for organisations to communicate with internal and external audiences
  • Introduction to the key elements of a successful data visualisation
10:30 - 11:15

What Makes a Good Data Visualisation?

  • Understand how to identify the story in the data
  • Group discussion: good and bad examples of data visualisation and why
11:15 - 11:30

Morning Break

11:30 - 12:15

Data in Context

  • Learn about the purpose and range of visualisations – from interactive dashboards for exploratory analysis in web browsers to static publication quality diagrams in print
  • Understand how data visualisation needs to work in conjunction with supporting text and commentary
  • Understand the different types of data; categorical, numeric, ration and time-based – and learn how best to visualise them
  • Know how to identify the right chart or graph for your data set
12:15 - 13:00

How People Process Visual Information

  • Understand how to use techniques to give your audience both an instant message and the opportunity to explore further: sort, filter, drill to detail, tool tips and interaction between visuals
  • Short exercises in improving existing data visualisations by applying the lessons learnt so far
  • Understand how people process visual information and use that knowledge to build visualisations that are easier and more helpful for your audience
13:00 - 13:45


13:45 - 14:00

Reflection Session

  • Trainer will review the day’s learning and the next stages of the course
  • Delegates will have time to ask questions and share views with one another
14:00 - 14:45

Design Principles

  • Understand why visual elements must enhance the message rather than clutter and confuse your communications
  • Learn quick and repeatable visual tricks that draw attention to the key information (without needing a graphic designer)
  • Be aware of design and layout principles that will allow your infographics and visualisations to breathe
14:45 - 15:00

Afternoon Break

15:00 - 16:00

Design a Data Visualisation Toolkit

  • Know which tools are available to help you quickly create data visualisations – including open-source software and free online options
  • Understand the trend towards digital interactive data visualisations
  • Find out where to go for further learning in this area
16:00 - 16:15

Feedback, Evaluation & Close


Central Edinburgh


“This is an excellent course, well run by a practitioner in this field. I feel equipped to go and experiment with new techniques in representing data.”
Effective Data Visualisation University of Edinburgh
“Very good examples used. Makes you assess data differently made topic interesting. Well delivered and informative will be recommending to colleagues.”
Effective Data VisualisationOversight Officer, Independent Police Complaints Commission
“Really interesting easy to follow interactive course covering all aspects of effective data visualisation.”
Effective Data Visualisation Research Associate, University of Manchester
“I have learned a great deal with many tips and ideas to enable to improve the authority’s reports.”
Effective Data Visualisation Corporate Performance Management Officer, Carmarthenshire County Council