Alberto Cairo’s How Charts Lie: an Alt-Disappointed Book Review

To tell you the truth, I don’t like the word “lie”: it feels obvious and unsophisticated. I prefer something like “reframing truth”, “alternative facts” or an English word I recently discovered, “paltering” (lying with the truth). Wanting to improve my skills in that area, I had great expectations about Alberto Cairo’s most recent book, How … Read more

Excel: sort + COUNTIF() = utter mess

I’m still in shock. Such a stupid Excel mistake. I should know better, but it was Monday, so… Let me tell you about it. It’s as mistake as old as the hills, but it never goes away, and you are not immune to it. I’ll exemplify with a simple data set. Here is a list … Read more

Horizon charts in Excel [bonus file]

A single horizon chart is easy to make in Excel using overlapping columns or areas (the trick is to structure the data the right way). But the horizon chart is a variation of small multiples, so what makes sense is to stack them to compare multiple entities. That’s problematic in Excel. But many charts can … Read more

Comparing Tableau and PowerBI visuals

I need to learn PowerBI, as soon as possible (per client request). So, I spent much of last week using it. I wrote about the depressing experience on Twitter. I also commented on this post, and its author, Vitali Burla, invited me to show an example of a chart that can be done in Tableau … Read more

Data visualization: beautiful Paris?

When I saw Paris for the first time I was like, meh. Not Paris’ fault. This was the second leg of a trip that started in Prague, and I was still in a process of digesting the city’s overwhelming beauty. After a couple of days, I was able to enjoy Paris, not in full, but … Read more

Excel user’s guide to make charts in Tableau

How do Excel and Tableau compare when actually making a chart? I couldn’t find such post, so I wrote one. I’ll create a simple chart, a population pyramid, and comment on the process. To make it a bit more interesting, we’ll compare a certain population in 1986 with the estimates for 2050. The Data Let’s … Read more

Wordless instructions for making charts: Tableau Edition

After creating wordless instructions for making charts in Excel, here is the Tableau version. This post discusses similarities and differences between both tools. Check out the e-books at the bottom! How to make a chart To make a chart, you must select the data, encode the data into visual objects, format those objects, and add text … Read more

12 ideas to become a competent data visualization thinker

It began with a tweet: Data tweeps: Help! I need to become a competent data viz thinker, well, immediately. Are there “must-read” sources that y’all can suggest? — Lindsey Leininger (@lindsleininger) September 27, 2017 In spite of being a notorious Excel Brute Forcer (thanks, Elijah!), I was invited for a presentation at JMP and was working on … Read more