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7 Ways To Visualise Data Without Excel

7 Ways To Visualise Data Without Excel

If you’re at all familiar with Microsoft Excel, chances are you’ve used it at one point or another to organize and present critical data. And chances are you’ve thought to yourself, “There must be a better way.” As it turns out, you were right. From charting global statistics on malaria to creating stunning charts and graphs or crafting maps that tell a story, here are 7 data visualization tools you should be using right now.

1. Nuvi

Nuvi is a tool that lets you see what’s happening, in real time, on social media. Keep track of followers, engagement and comments in your Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram accounts to stay ahead of the game in your industry. Their bubble stream view allows you to see social interaction going on in real time. The bigger the dot, the more influential the entity. Green represents positive sentiment, red negative, and blue neutral. Use these patterns and insights to tailor your decisions to get the most returns on your investment.

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Nuvi

    2. Exhibit

    Created by MIT, Exhibit lets you quickly and easily create web pages with charted worldwide data, interactive maps and historical data sets. Create a map with flags of the world, an interactive bubble flag hovering over every country. Design a map of the United States with interactive bubbles over the most populated cities—the bigger the bubble, the more populated the city. Think of some statistic or fact you want to display with some kind of map, and let Exhibit help you create it. Exhibit is maintained and developed in an open-source community.

    exhibit

      3. DataHero

      Use DataHero to chart business data and get actionable insights to make business decisions. DataHero can work with your data in almost any form, whether it’s online, in cloud storage drives, or in excel. You’ll be able to create excel dashboards, beautiful charts, and interactives that will allow you to make important decisions in real time. DataHero also connects to applications like Hubspot, Shopify, Zendesk and dozens more to make using your data with your favorite apps all too easy.

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      DataHero

        4. Kartograph

        Created with the needs of designers and data journalists in mind, Kartograph is a source for building interactive maps without needing to use any other kind of mapping service. It is most useful for charting defined data, not worldwide data, and does so quickly and effectively. Kartograph gives you a lot of options when it comes to mapping information and lets you do so in compact SVG maps as well as interactive maps that run across all major browsers.

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        kartograph

          5. Visual.ly

          A brainchild of former Mint.com employees, Visual.ly is a community platform for data visualizations, making it easy to create infographics, videos, interactives, presentations and micro-content. The site is both a showcase for infographics as well as a marketplace and community for researchers, publishers and designers. Create a profile, craft and publish visualizations to it, and then share the visualizations through your social platforms.

          Visual.ly

            6. Dipity

            Bring history to life by creating a stimulating and visually appealing timeline with Dipity. Create, share, embed and collaborate on a timeline that integrates a number of features, including image, video, audio, text, links and more. Dipity offers both free and premium versions for those with different needs. The premium version, for example, allows for custom branding and backgrounds as well as custom iPhone apps. Create a timeline and it could be featured in their “trending topics” area.

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            Dipity

              7. Better World Flux

              This data visualization tool displays some of the world’s more distressing data but does so in an attractive way. Select different countries and indicators like “access to water” and “happiness score” to look at and track progress made. Though you can’t upload your own data, the data available to look at is extensive and spans decades. Better World Flux is also quick and easy to use and allows for an interesting interactive ride.

              Better World Flux

                Featured photo credit: Nuvi Reviews, Price/Costs and Features via aboutanalytics.com

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                Last Updated on September 17, 2018

                How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

                How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

                Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

                Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

                All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

                Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

                How bad really is multitasking?

                It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

                Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

                This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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                We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

                So what to do about it?

                Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

                Now, forget about how to multitask!

                Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

                1. Get enough rest

                When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

                This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

                When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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                2. Plan your day

                When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

                When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

                Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

                3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

                I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

                I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

                Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

                4. When at your desk, do work

                We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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                Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

                5. Learn to say no

                Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

                Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

                By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

                6. Turn off notifications on your computer

                For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

                Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

                7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

                Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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                You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

                The bottom line

                Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

                Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

                Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

                Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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