COVID-19 resources: Data viz best practices

In times of uncertainty such as the one we’re in now with the COVID-19 outbreak, what people want are facts and information. Often, that means data.

But as we think about how to get data into the hands of people who need it, it’s worth thinking about how we do so, and what it looks like. I recently published a reminder of how the choices we make when we do data visualization—especially on a critical subject like the COVID-19 outbreak—influence how people see, understand, and react to the data.

Here’s what happened. On March 1, the BBC published a viz showing the death rates due to COVID-19 by age, health condition, and gender. As you can see, people over the age of 80 have the highest death rate, at 15%.

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