10 tips for making good looking graphs and charts in Google Data Studio

Data Studio Reports

Graphs and Charts are among the most important functionalities of Google Data Studio (GSD) that can take data reporting to a whole new level. However, to present the graphs and charts in an appealing way, it is important to understand what GSD has to offer in this area.

Let us learn about a few types of Charts that are available in Google Data Studio that could be highly beneficial while presenting your data the right way. The type of chart you choose greatly depends on the type of data you want to incorporate into it.

  1. Score Card Chart. A Scorecard is commonly used for presenting key performance indicators and also depicts the changes in their value over time. You can add or make changes to your scorecard by changing values in the linked cells.
  1. Time Series Chart. A time-series chart, as the name suggests, illustrates data pertaining to different intervals of time. Each point on the chart depicts the quantity that is being measured and the time to which it corresponds.
    Line graph
  1. Horizontal Bar Chart. This makes use of horizontal rectangular bars to depict the values of the different data categories. The categories of the data are represented on the vertical axis while the values are depicted by the graphs. The length of each bar varies depending on the value of each data it represents.
  1. Geo Map Chart. Geo Map Charts are used to represent a geographical region (country, state, town, etc). There are three ways to identify regions in a geo map:
    Geo map chart
  • Region: This mode fills the whole region with different colors and helps in identifying a particular region according to the said color.
  • Makers: Makes use of small circles to identify a certain region that is attached to a designated value.
  • Text: Texts are used instead of colors or makers to identify the region that needs to be presented.
  1. Pie Chart/Donut Chart. A pie chart is a type of chart wherein the whole circle is divided into different segments that represent different proportions of the circle. It is mostly suited for representing values that need to be shown in proportion or percentages.

10 tips for presenting  good looking charts and graphs

#1 Know the right chart to choose

The first step to presenting good looking charts/graphs is to choose the right type. Each chart type is suited for the type of data that needs to be illustrated. Identify the parameters that you want to represent to know the chart type that will be the most appropriate.

#2 Use appropriate labels

No matter which chart/graph type you are presenting, choosing the right labels go a long way in making it impactful. It is important to choose the appropriate title for the value parameters. No matter how good the graph looks, if the titles are not crisp and clear, no one is going to understand what it represents.

#3 Select the right colors

Making your graphs colorful could always result in making them look compelling. However, it is all about choosing the right hues and the right balance. While using bra graphs, choose a light color to fill the bars. Make sure all bars are colored in sync.

On the contrary for pie charts, choose different colors that are in contrast to each other. It will help in establishing a comparison between the segments without even looking at the percentage.

#4 Modify the legends

Legends in charts represent the kind of data that is being illustrated by it. It is always advised to put legends on the bottom of the chart/graph. It makes the chart look more organized and clean.

Pie chart data studio

When the chart/graph represents only one parameter, do not add legends unnecessarily.

#5 Sort the data

While representing sequential data, it is highly recommended to get your data sorted in that order. In such scenarios, sorting data in descending order plays a key role in making the graph more appealing to the viewer. This way most significant data is put first.

#6 Say no to grid lines

Remove gridlines/background lines in bar charts as they tend to make the graph look chaotic. They do not add any value to the graph other than making it look untidy.

#7 Shaded area to a line chart

While using a simple line chart, shading the area below the line can make your chart stand out.

data studio line graph

#8 Descriptive title

A self-explanatory title to the chart/graph makes it easy to understand what the graph entails. A title should be around 5-7 words, not too long not too short. A graph without any title would make it look very unprofessional.

#9 Background

Always use white background irrespective of the type of chart/graph you are illustrating. It looks professional, organized and clean.

#10 Avoid over-styling

Styling your graphs is necessary but do not overdo it. Always keep the styling to a minimum level. Also, 2D effects are always way better than 3D effects. Use the right font size and type. Do not use fancy font styles. Keep it simple and professional.