Have I mentioned how much I admire the work of David McCandless and the very idea of 'Information is Beautiful'? You can get the book, a great Christmas present for the more cerebral - or visually stimulated - members of your family. You can follow the blog on their site. You should start with McCandless's TED talk though, for insight and some lovely examples of their work.
This is relevant to me and my potential research, because I want it to be. I want to have data that will enable and encourage me to present it in innovative, spellbinding ways. I don't imagine it's easy, yet these folks make it look effortless - the image slips away into the background, leaving the message up front and personal.
A guide to help: How to be a data journalist (Guardian)
And a straightforward starting point thanks to Abhishek Tiwari on choosing the right kind of chart. I should link to the relevant page, rather than hosting a copy on this blog, but as I can't find a suitable page to link to (and have only a download link as an alternative), here's the document:
Remember everyone: be creative with your data for it can be beautiful. You owe it to yourselves and your readers to communicate your message in the best possible way.