Visualization is about turning data and information into insights and knowledge using visual representations such as maps, charts, diagrams, and other infographics, also known as dashboards. This process involves a combination of skills including communications, technology, data analysis and graphic design. Data visualization is used to create products such as snapshots, interactive dashboards, and maps. Advanced GIS skills are also helpful although not always necessary.
Choosing the right software
Different software is required for creating static and interactive visualizations. On both sides, there are several licensed and open-source options to choose from.
The three basic tools for creating static visualizations are:
Excel (licensed, comes with Office 365) or an open-source alternative such as Google Sheets, LibreOffice or OpenOffice for creating charts, tables and simple maps.
ESRI ArcGIS Pro (licensed) or QGIS (open-source) for creating simple and sophisticated maps.
Adobe Illustrator (licensed) or Inkscape (open-source) for compiling the visuals and giving a neat finishing touch to the product.
The two basic tools for creating interactive visualizations include:
Power BI (licensed, comes with Office 365) for creating the visuals. There are also many alternative tools such as Tableau (comes with free and paid versions) and ArcGIS Dashboards (licensed) but these are less commonly used at OCHA.
Excel (licensed, comes with Office 365) or an open-source alternative such as Google Sheets, LibreOffice or OpenOffice for the data management and manipulation.
More information about the software license request and the subsequent procurement process is available here.
Templates: Assets include Logos, Fonts, Humanitarian Icons, Libraries, and OCHA core graphics. Templates include Infographic/Map (AI), Reports (InDesign), PowerBI, ArcGIS, PowerPoint, Word, Business cards.