The human brain is better able to identify and interpret ideas through images than through abstract words. This is what makes data visualization such a powerful and elegant concept. Humans can grasp an idea or identify patterns and trends with well-designed data visualizations.
Data visualization examples help us make sense of large datasets and, ultimately, the world around us by:
- transmitting findings in a simple way
- encountering new understanding on a topic
- diving straight into a subject analysis
Data captivates us! It can spark something in our minds and inform our lives. To keep you captivated, take a look at this list of the best data visualization examples.
Top Data Visualization Examples to Inspire You
The 50 Most Visited Websites in the World
This bubble chart shows just how big of an audience each site boasts. The creator also added a bar chart within this good data visualization, which is smaller in scale to the bubble chart. The data presented gives insight into the industries in which these sites operate and the traffic they attract. To take a look at the rest of the ranking, check out Semrush Open Trends.
Visualizing a Zettabyte
In the mid-2010s, humans created one zettabyte of data. And in 2020? Fifty-nine! The more people connect digitally, the quicker the rate at which data production multiplies. Data visualization examples succeed when they are easily understandable, and this one hits the mark. Fifty-nine may not sound like a big number. But when you find out how massive a zettabyte really is, your jaw drops. That’s just how impressive data visualization can get.
It Fell From the Sky
Have you ever wondered about the meteorites that have fallen to earth? This infographic shines a light on a stunning data visualization of more than 34,000 such meteorites. Clear, slick graphics enlighten, using a map and a timeline of the impacts. The visual context enables you to analyze recorded spikes as well as contrast the sizes of the largest meteorites ever documented.
U.S. Wind Graphic
Visualized data in a simple way helps you grasp information quickly and easily. In this map, black, white and gray lines tell the speed and direction of wind in the U.S. The top and average wind speeds are displayed, and a straightforward key on the left-hand corner serves to present data on wind speed.
How Americans Eat
The main sources of protein consumed by Americans nationwide is the focal point of this data visualization. By displaying data sourced from the USDA, this chart shows insights on how many pounds of protein are consumed per year per capita. Interestingly, the design also resembles a slab of meat.
Here is one of many data visualization examples that helps people make sense of something that’s on many people’s minds lately—data breaches. Let your eye roam over the data analytics and learn about how this threat has been escalating. You can also compare the biggest data breaches on record.
Interactive US 2016 Budget
If you’ve ever wondered where your tax dollars go, this interactive data visualization is just for you. You are also able to analyze how the federal budget was allocated to the various program areas under President Obama’s 2016 budget proposal. Click on each area to learn more about the program and just how much was allocated.
Visualizing the History of Pandemics
There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has been on the minds of many since 2020, all the way into 2022. World history is a tapestry of other similar pestilences. Beautiful data visualizations should tell a story, and that’s exactly what is displayed here: a trip through time and all the pandemics that have affected humanity.
Plastic Waste Pollution
Data visualization examples should bring raw data together with good research and a passion for the subject. This is what Jamie Kettle did with his personal project on plastic. The data points to estimated percentages of plastic waste that was not properly disposed of. Additionally, you can find out about the distribution of plastic waste generated by each continent and the mass of current surface plastic on the oceans.
Infectious Diseases and the Impact of Vaccines
Here is data generated from observing the impact vaccines have had on the spread of prevalent diseases. The visualization from the Wall Street Journal covers a time period of over 70 years and all 50 states.
The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People
If you’ve ever wondered how famous creatives use their time, this data visualization has some great insights to share. A concise color key at the top includes such activities as food/leisure, exercise and, of course, being creative.
The graphic shows you how much of their time they spend working, creating and, yes, sleeping.
How Gender Affects Pay
In this visualization, circles in different sizes represent the number of men and women in various jobs. Some 500,000 people reported data to help create this eye-opening visualization. The length of each red line helps one to see how the pay gap varies between men and women in various professions.
Interactive Visualization of NYC Trees
This is a visually appealing way to present the life and times of trees on the streets of New York City. This data visualization shows how many and what type of street trees one can find in all five boroughs of New York. The creators used data provided by NYC Open Data to find out which trees were more or less common on the streets of New York.
Price of a Pandemic: Poverty Spreads Around the Globe
National Geographic uses a classic black background as the canvas for their data from the World Bank. This design choice creates a contrast that makes the information easier to read. The charts offer an easy way to understand just how the pandemic has affected the income of people from different countries.
It shows the big picture of all the elements affecting our well-being, from job loss and the cost of food to travel restrictions and even war.
The homeless are Often Relocated to Areas with Lower Median Incomes
Once they get their ticket out of town, where do the homeless go? The Guardian answered that question with an elegant data visualization. The distribution chart plots out where the homeless are often relocated to—areas with lower median incomes.
New Chart of History
The Chart of Biography by Joseph Priestley remains one of the most remarkable data visualization examples in history. Despite being visually busy, this chart tells a fascinating story spanning a 700-year timeline of history. Acclaimed men, rulers and philosophers take the stage, and attention is given to those who were making history at the same moment in time.
It was a creative way to depict data and proved to be an innovation for its era.
Network Graph of Character Interactions in the Star Wars Franchise
At first glance, you’d think you were looking at a nebula or star burst in some galaxy far away. But this dazzling network graph connects the paths of over 20,000 characters in the Star Wars universe. A single node means a single character, and each node is connected by a color-coded line, or edge, to the other nodes.
Blue is the light side of the Force and red, the dark. Bounty hunters and criminals are depicted in yellow. Overall, there are more than 66,000 connections portrayed in this burst of color. Impressive examples of data visualization like this one show the impact a network graph can have.
Visualization Explorer for Every Major Movie 2008–2015
With most data visualization tools, you want to be able to learn and compare in order to better visualize data. More than a thousand of Hollywood’s major movies between 2008 and 2015 are presented. You can compare how much the movie grossed worldwide against the budget and earnings.
Who’s Fighting Whom in Syria
In 2015, the Syrian Civil War was at its peak. This graph points out the different factions and allies. This straightforward example includes a legend featuring emojis that help to further simplify this complex topic.
How Cryptocurrency Drives EPU Prices
The parallel connection between the price of the Ethereum cryptocurrency (in red), and graphics processing units, or GPUS (in teal), is the focal point of this data visualization. GPU chips are more in demand with crypto-miners than CPUs, and so their prices have shot up. CPU prices have, however, remained constant.
A Night Under the Stars
Tent or RV? This collection of radar chart data visualizations will help you choose how you would like to spend the night in one of North America’s scenic national parks. Use the data to decide what is best for a specific time of year.
Active Satellites in Space
If you’ve wondered how many satellites are hovering above you, this eye-catching data visualization by Scientific American is for you. Sleek satellite cluster grids are arranged by country, orbit and class (amatuer/academic, civil, defense or commercial).
Most Popular Dogs Based on Data
Data sourced from the American Kennel Club was used for this fun and informative data visualization. Insight into dog popularity was determined by looking at “intelligence, longevity, genetic ailments and other markers.” A “data-score” was then formulated and contrasted with public opinion.
3D Mapping of Population Density
Bad data visualization examples often put style over substance. This is not the case with this 3D rendering of population demographics across Europe. Its aesthetically appealing design is functional and helps us to understand the population density of each area.
GHS_POP data, available for free from the EU, is applied on a map featuring 1km x 1km squares and bar heights depicting an estimate of people in each area.
Percentage Change in County Population 2010–2020
This data visualization helps you to learn about shifts in the U.S. population during the 2010–2022 decade. The clear-cut key on the right explains the changes in percentages in the various counties. The map is easy to interpret with borders clearly defined.
The After Babylon project is the brainchild of Density Design Lab, using insights from the World Atlas of Language Structures. The world’s 2,678 languages are showcased in this interactive visualization: their origins, the population who speaks the language, and where they are located.
The relationship between the various languages, including those that were exchanged and integrated into other languages, is also explored.
The Search for Dark Matter
Potential stars are made up of WIMPS, axions, primordial black holes and ultralight dark matter. In this data visualization from Quanta Magazine, a precise description of every particle is provided. In turn, the mass range of each particle making up dark matter is explored along a scale.
How the Recession Reshaped the Economy
The effect of the Great Recession continues to linger over the U.S. economy. Various line charts were used by the New York Times in this data visualization to prove the impact this has had on various industries and job availability in the span of a decade.
Stream Graph of Immigration to the U.S.
Data journalist Talia Bronshtein created this stream graph bursting with colors. The visualization plots the nationality of various immigrants to the U.S. from 1820 to 2013. For example, we learn that during 1939–1945 (World War II), immigration to the U.S. almost came to a stop.
The Korean Clusters
The best data visualizations enable viewers to make sense of global events like the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in January 2020, infection rates in Korean churches and hospitals exploded. Scientists made the connection between confirmed cases using a timeline that showed how the first patient was able to infect up to thirty people during their daily activity.
For How Much of Your Life Has the United States Been at War?
The Washington Post put this data visualization together to explain how much time the U.S. has spent at war and at peace during a person’s lifetime up until 2014.
Food and Wine Pairing Science
This data visualization works as your very own sommelier. Use the table to determine which food and wine pairings are perfect for your next big event!
Popular Programming Languages on the CRAN Network
This visualization explores which languages were used in creating various CRAN packages. Data was collected from the TIOBE index, which measures which languages are most popular. R comes out on top, followed by C and then C++.
Gender Breakdown of Movie Dialogue
Did you know that male characters have more lines than female characters, even when the film’s main character happens to be a woman? This eye-opening data visualization identifies the gender imbalance when it comes to dialogue in some of Disney’s most popular movies.
2020’s Biggest Tech Mergers and Acquisitions
The most substantial tech mergers and acquisitions of 2020 are presented in this data visualization. The inventive and attractive design allows you to find out more about who acquired whom and how much it cost.
Build your own branded infographic using our data visualization tools. Get a market report on your industry from Crunchbase and get started!
Analyzing Color Palettes from Great Artworks
Arthur Buxton takes you into the color choices of such greats as Cézanne, Gauguin and Monet during a span of ten years. Color palettes are the focus of this data visualization, studying more about the artist through color instead of the art movement.
Babies Born at 8:00 A.M.
Scientific American showcased this data visualization by Zan Armstrong and Nadieh Bremer. In their exploration of birth rate trends, they discovered that 3.5 times as many babies are born at precisely 8:00 a.m. than at any other time.
The Universe of Bats
COVID-19 became one of the most popular topics for data visualization creators after its outbreak. Reuters created this flow chart that demonstrates how the virus is transmitted from bats to other animals and eventually to humans.
Line Graph of Global Surface Temperature
The creators of this data visualization sourced data from NASA, NOAA, the Japanese Meteorological Society, and the Met Office. The line graph follows the global surface temperature from 1880 to the late 2010s.
The overlaying of the data shows how closely linked all four sources are in demonstrating the rise in temperature.
It’s almost unbelievable, but more paintings have been stolen in the last twenty years than ever before. This fascinating data visualization for Visual Data was featured on a column for the culture supplement of Corriere Della Sera.
The infographic exposes details—artist, date of creation and theft—from 40 stolen paintings since 1900 to the present.
Using Data Visualization Examples to Take Your Data to the Next Level
This article has brought you some of the most striking and innovative data visualization examples.
You have seen how data can be captivating and enlightening. It gives your audience the opportunity to learn in a way that is visual and to the point.
There are a variety of ways you can implement data visualization in order to deliver, explain and expand on all sorts of data. Take an idea from the abstract into the clear world of the visual.
If you liked this article about data visualization examples, you should check out this article about open source data visualization.