I am a firm believer that the questions you ask will drive the right kind of visualization ( I just found out that the word is mainly spelt visualisation i.e with an s instead of z in almost all of Europe). Other than the fact that the data has to be Relevant (duh?) to the question asked, here are three simple questions I ask to help with coming up with options for visualization. I summarize it as the I.O.U principle. (I)nteresting What is really interesting about the data for the audience?. Is there a way to show this interesting piece of information? . Can I make this data more interesting?. Is there a way I can design the visualization elements to make it more interesting?. Is the context for the data interesting?. (O)utside What context can I give from the outside that is relevant to the audience? What are the big trends or happenings outside the data which is currently not visualized? What factors from the outside is influencing your decision and what have you introduced into this visualization ? Are there relevant processes or people outside this which we need to consider to complete this visualization ? (U) as in (U)ser What are your important key measurements ? Does the design make sense to you ? How can we make this simpler for you to use and to understand ? How do you like to present this ? How do you like to share this ?