3 Comments

  1. Kharaam Sharifpour says:

    I have so much respect for you I can’t even put it into words.

    1. Ann K. Emery says:

      Wow, thanks Kharaam.

  2. Sue Griffey says:

    I used this technique the day before your blog came out. I needed to contrast 2 different research findings in a short presentation I was doing. And I wanted (needed) to leave them in their large contexts (parts of paragraphs). And both needed to be on the same PPT slide. I used my SueMentors brand colors with blue as the paragraph text and the red for the emphasis text (and slightly larger). I also used bold and Italics on the red as it really helped the 2 findings contrast.

    I see now that gray instead of blue would have helped…

    So glad I can keep learning from you. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How to Visualize Qualitative Data with Colored Phrases

Wondering how to visualize your qualitative data? Maybe you’ve got open-ended survey responses, focus group notes, or speech transcripts. Qualitative data visualization can bring our words and phrases to life.

My friend Jon Schwabish from PolicyViz asked me to partner on his One Chart at a Time project, in which we’re helping you get better-acquainted with common and not-so-common chart types.

I created a tutorial on using colored phrases to visualize qualitative data. In this tutorial, you’ll learn:

  • The first time I ever used colored phrases to visualize qualitative data;
  • My favorite examples of colored phrases; and
  • Practical tips for using colored phrases in your project.

Watch the Tutorial

The First Time I Used Colored Phrases in Data Visualization

In the first part of the video, you’ll see the first time I used colored phrases.

I was coding open-ended survey data during my Master’s thesis, and needed to visualize different themes that I was finding in the data.

Inside good ol’ Word, I added colored rectangles around key phrases.

The outcome wasn’t perfect, but it was better than regular text.

My Favorite Examples of Colored Phrases

In the second part of the video, you’ll see my favorite examples of colored phrases:

In the second part of the video, you’ll see my favorite examples of colored phrases.

Practical Tips for Using Colored Phrases

In the final section of the video, you’ll learn practical tips for using colored phrases to visualize qualitative data.

We’ll go through seven options:

  1. Regular text
  2. Bold
  3. Italic
  4. Underline
  5. Color
  6. Outline
  7. Fill

You’ll learn the pros and cons of each approach, and see why I suggest using bold, colored, or filled text instead of the other options.

In the final section of the video, you’ll learn practical tips for using colored phrases to visualize qualitative data. You’ll learn the pros and cons of each approach, and see why I suggest using bold, colored, or filled text instead of the other options.

Your Turn

Let me know when you’ve applied colored phrases to your own project!

More about Ann K. Emery
Ann K. Emery is a sought-after speaker who is determined to get your data out of spreadsheets and into stakeholders’ hands. Each year, she leads more than 50 workshops, webinars, and keynotes for thousands of people around the globe. Her design consultancy also overhauls graphs, publications, and slideshows with the goal of making technical information easier to understand for non-technical audiences.

3 Comments

  1. Kharaam Sharifpour says:

    I have so much respect for you I can’t even put it into words.

    1. Ann K. Emery says:

      Wow, thanks Kharaam.

  2. Sue Griffey says:

    I used this technique the day before your blog came out. I needed to contrast 2 different research findings in a short presentation I was doing. And I wanted (needed) to leave them in their large contexts (parts of paragraphs). And both needed to be on the same PPT slide. I used my SueMentors brand colors with blue as the paragraph text and the red for the emphasis text (and slightly larger). I also used bold and Italics on the red as it really helped the 2 findings contrast.

    I see now that gray instead of blue would have helped…

    So glad I can keep learning from you. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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