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7 Ways To Visualise Data Without Excel

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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.

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              Better World Flux

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

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                Last Updated on October 21, 2021

                How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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                How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

                Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

                Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

                The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

                Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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                Program Your Own Algorithms

                Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

                Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

                By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

                How to Form a Ritual

                I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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                Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

                1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
                2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
                3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
                4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

                Ways to Use a Ritual

                Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

                1. Waking Up

                Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

                2. Web Usage

                How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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                3. Reading

                How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

                4. Friendliness

                Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

                5. Working

                One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

                6. Going to the gym

                If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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                7. Exercise

                Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

                8. Sleeping

                Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

                8. Weekly Reviews

                The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

                Final Thoughts

                We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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                More Tips to Conquer Time Wasters and Procrastination

                 

                Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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