Teaching students that data can be represented in four different ways, as a story, table, graph (or chart) and a rule helps. One of the best strategies for me was to create six different stories, tables, graphs and rules in Excel, paste them in Word, print them, cut them up and put them in envelopes. Then students working in pairs or groups had to match the stories to the table to the graph and the rule. Hugely engaging, thought provoking and led to great discussions as students made the connections.
I think programming would help as it moves students into a sequential arena and from horizontal work representing data on a table top to representing data on a vertical plane. Until students realize everything lies on a coordinate plane, they don't get the move from horizontal to vertical. It's weird but they just don't think about it.