It might be Blue Monday. But there’s no need to be all blue.

A shrinking bank balance, an increasing waistline, a long-forgotten festive break (oh, don’t forget those long forgotten resolutions too) and a flux of gloomy weather can all conspire to make today the most depressing day of the year. Officially.

Blue Monday, as this most downtrodden of days has been officially dubbed, is calculated using a series of not-too-scientific formulae. And what started as a PR initiative has now been cooly embraced as an annual event.

But while this Monday will forever be blue, it doesn’t mean that you have to be too. Help is at hand to overcome your biggest colour challenges.

Colour is a hugely important variant when visualising data. It can make your point stand out, it can radically alter how your information is perceived and it can add to your understanding. If you get it wrong, not only does it look terrible, it can send out all the wrong messages too.

So, if you’re all blue, or stuck in a rut when it comes to inspiration for your latest visualisation, these five tools can help you choose the perfect palette to communicate your data visually.


Targeted at people who just want to quickly pick some nice colours from the HCL colour space, allowing you to copy hex codes for those colours. Colorpicker also offers a choropleth preview of the colours selected.

ColorPicker - choosing the perfect colour palette


iWantHue provides advanced tools to generate, correct, and complete color palettes using Chroma.js.

I Want Hue - choosing the perfect colour palette

Color Hexa

ColorHexa is a free colour tool offering up information about any colour and generating matching colour palettes for your visualisations. Just type any colour value and ColorHexa will offer a detailed description and automatically convert it to its equivalent values.


Instant Eyedropper

Instant Eyedropper, like Color Hex, is another colour tool that we’ve previously recommended. Once you have downloaded and installed the tool it runs in your system tray. If you then ever see a colour you’d like to replicate, left click and hold on the eyedropper icon then drag the cursor to the colour you want on the screen.

Instant eye dropper


ColourBrewer uses a carefully design choropleth map as a diagnostic tool for evaluating the robustness of individual color schemes.


At Barrachd we’ve helped customers implement sophisticated reporting and dashboard solutions for customers whom visualisation is vital. If you want to learn more about our solutions and services, our team would be happy to talk to you about the cutting-edge data visualisation offered in IBM’s business analytics tools. For more details, you can contact us via .




Posted in analytics On January 15, 2018 By