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Top 8 Data Representation Styles Used By Web Analysts To Tell Their Story

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Representing data in a correct way is very important and if data is about web analytics then you need to be extra careful, in order to extract out some fruitful analysis out of it for your business. Hence, here are some styles or data representation techniques which you can use to make data showcasing somewhat more approachable:

Words: The simplest way of showing what you have understood to a guy who don’t know too much of web analytics is through words. Data representation with the help of Words for example catchy words or organised words or word clouds or may be in a point wise brief will help people understand easily without going deep down into summary or report of data especially if a person has no time and want to take a valuable decision based on your presentation.

Metaphors/Pictures: If we take an example of MozCast a weather forecast site uses pictures and metaphor to showcase their weather analytics data representation. This technique is like taking only diagrammatic results from an Infographic or create your own based on it. Metaphors could be used to show at the top of your reports so that user can generate interest without looking down at the data.


Tables and Grids: Tables are a best way or medium to showcase your data if it has a lots of numbers and calculation. For example, if you want to compare, analyse  the prices of some brands (as shown in following figure) and make understand reader that what exactly you want to say then make use of tables from excel sheets or grid for more explanation. At the same time grid will give a better interface look to your representation.


Pie Chart: Data in nominal or ordinal categories like percentage, or no. of shares own or county of birth/death rate etc. can be described through pie charts. Similarly, for example if you want to do survey of people to rank something in your website as good, very good, fair, poor, very poor and want to show case the result then make use of pie chart. Some of the other examples are:

  • Anchor text of Brand vs. Non Brand
  • Visits through each medium
  • Website traffic based on different keywords


Area Graph: Don’t make use of area graphs often, unless required in some cases. In web analytics you can use them for example breaking down segments and showing how they got stack up against each other for one metric over a particular duration. By representing the page views by area graph, you can show how they have risen and how they matched up against or towards each other, as well as identifying reason when one segment fallen down significantly.


Motion Charts: If you want to do multidimensional analysis of all metrics and to generate a report then motion charts are best example. You can plot your analytics meta-data into 4 different dimensions which can help you represent your meta-data in a more attractive way. Motion Charts helps you perform both high-level analysis (like identifying long-term webtrends) and targeted analysis (which are aimed at gauging the impact of a specific campaign or event on number of hits).


Line Graphs: I think nobody needs any explanation about Line graph, that how they have used to perform calculation and show the analysis report out of it. Mostly web analysts prefer line graphs or bar charts because they can put more data representation on it without making it harder to understand to reader. Have a look at below example:

graph 2

Infographics: Infographics is on the verge of getting famous as one of the techniques of representing data. Infographics are very useful when you’re using data to raise awareness, share information, or build up discussion goal for your topic on analysis (for example with the aim of generating traffic for your website). Infographics are very innovative way of showing data visualization. If you combine all the above techniques together like graphs, percentage, words and picture together like a collage and put it in a nice, creative and innovative way then it can say 1000 words in a single representation. But make sure it should not look clumsy or ugly and do not put data in a manner so that it becomes difficult for reader to read it, forget about making decision out of it. Take a look at IBM’s analytics representation on big data.


  • web-analytics

  • There are 2 comments

    • 5 years ago

      Nikhita Reddy   /   Reply

      Good post. All the styles were well explained. But you should have placed the headings below the images what you have use. The images used by you are really good.

    • 5 years ago

      Indrajit Goswami   /   Reply

      How far infographic is regarded as a data analytic tool? Is not it an integral part of content management?

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