Software Development

Want to learn data visualization skills? Start with these resources and tools

Ahead of its data viz workshop, Women in Data's Rajvi Mehta shares a handful of intro materials for those looking to boost their tech careers.

You can never have too many eye-catching data visualizations like this one.

(GIF via

This is a guest post by Rajvi Mehta, Women in Data — Philadelphia's regional sponsorship lead.

Welcome to Skill-Based Learning, a short series brought to you by Women in Data — Philadelphia that will highlight some different skills required for being successful in data and tech and offer resources for you to start learning. This week, we are focusing on data visualization.

Data visualization helps bring to life valuable insights that data provides. With the ever-growing field of data and tech, the need for a specialist who is able to convert a complex data story into a simple insight is high. We recommend considering data visualization as your specialty if you have the ability to comprehend business acumen, simplify complex models, and be creative. With a data visualization specialty, you could apply your skills to jobs including analyst, developer and engineer.

Any research is incomplete without a strong data visualization. Your end user may or may not understand the complexity of the quantitative model, but they will look at the visualization as a way of understanding the model and make a business decision based on that. A lot of data teams face challenges when it comes to model adoption and change management. By creating a strong visualization, you are not only winning the hearts of your team but also building your credibility as an empathetic data scientist — they are rare finds.

Free resources

This Harvard Business Review article talks about some of the best data visualizations to date. If you have zero experience in building dashboards, we recommend a few different tools to learn.

Tableau is a well-known tool for dashboard building and data visualization. Tableau Public allows you to publish your dashboard for feedback. ThoughtSpot is an intuitive business intelligence tool that helps you build forecasts and simplify your analysis, and has the ability to maintain extremely large data sets. Harvard University offers a free introduction to data visualization course. Coursera has a list of all the top some of the best courses around data visualization.



One of the best books (which is considered a classic) is “The Art of Data Science.” It gives a step-by-step explanation of data visualization journey, especially if you are working with or are hoping to work with managers and business heads. You can find a .pdf version of this book online.

University education

If you are looking for a structured learning environment, Drexel University is offering two data visualization courses using Tableau.


If this is something you are interested in learning more about, Women in Data — Philadelphia is hosting a free data visualization workshop on Saturday, Aug. 29 at 11 a.m. EST.


Please let us know what other data skills would you like to learn more about — You can learn more about Women in Data on our website.

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