A course for the invisible data visualization users

I like to call it the invisible data visualization: all those Excel charts made for private consumption by product managers, accountants, marketeers, sales reps. You can’t see them but they are there, and millions of hours are spent every single year making and presenting them. Then we have the highly visible data visualization: the sexy kingdom … Read more

Too Many Tools, Too Much Grammar, Too Little Sense

If you want to improve your data visualization skills you should think of it as a foreign language, where you use data points instead of words, charts instead of sentences, dashboards instead of paragraphs, axis and labels instead of punctuation marks. It has its own grammar, created by Bertin and improved by Tufte, Few, Cleveland … Read more

Data visualization hierarchy of needs

Data Visualization Hierarchy of Needs

Is it possible to create a “data visualization hierarchy of needs” like Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs? I’ve tried that in the pyramid above. Here are the details: Is it the right Medium? A chart can really help processing data and minimize information overload, but what about “chart overload”? Don’t make a chart if you … Read more

Memorable Charts? Forget About It!

This too much discussed paper “found that people’s accuracy in describing the embellished charts was no worse than for plain charts, and that their recall after a two-to-three week gap was significantly better. In addition, participants preferred the embellished charts“. OK, let’s take a deep breath. Apparently, all things being equal, you should use a … Read more

Stephen Few, Data Visualization, Eye Candy and the Pie

Stephen Few left a comment in my post “Is Data Visualization Useful? You’ll Have to Prove it“. We all have much to learn with Steve, so instead of leaving the discussion buried in an old post, I thought it would be interesting to make it more visible. Please read the comment then come here and … Read more