Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Here is a good example of give-a-fish versus teach-to-fish: if you search for “excel dashboard” you’ll get at the top of the search results my own Excel dashboard tutorial and … Read more
I often read that you should make your charts “memorable”. Well, I’m not sure if this is a good advice, specially when people use “memorable” and “professional-looking” in the same sentence. It’s OK if you are a graphic designer and you want to spend some time crafting an unique chart that draws the attention of … Read more
Creativity is such a positive quality that it is almost painful to argue that you shouldn’t try to be creative when making charts. But you shouldn’t. Really. If you are too creative and the users can’t understand the chart in a few seconds they will dismiss it as useless. If you break basic conventions (time … Read more
Why are the true benefits of information visualization so hard to prove?
If you want to sell better data visualization practices you can’t use the same approach with everyone. Marketers use archetypes and like to create stories around them like if they were real people. Their marketing messages are then tailored for Jane (archetype #1) or Theresa (archetype #2). Let’s try this. Allow me to introduce you … Read more
According to Stephen Few, the founders of Tableau Software made some assumptions about visual analytics’ adoption that we can summarize in a single sentence: analysts want to find hidden insights in large and complex data sets using new visual paradigms. Later on, they discovered that these assumptions were somewhat flawed, and that what people really … Read more
Many misconceptions plague the field on information visualization. This post lists some of them and tells you how to remove those misconceptions.
Do you type well? I mean, do your thoughts flow naturally through your fingers or, on the contrary, your (low) typing skills come between your thoughts and your writing? I don’t type fast enough, I look at the keyboard from time to time and I don’t follow some simple typing rules that would save me … Read more
One of the reasons why information visualization in business is so poor is because many managers are clueless about it. They really believe that a simple training course on Office tools is more than enough to create some nice 3D charts for a Powerpoint presentation (and they are right: that’s all they need, because that’s … Read more
Seth’s blog is always interesting, and usually I agree with him and learn something. However, when he discusses charts and graphs he’s often a very light purple cow. This week he confirms that. Godin’s The three laws of great graphs tells us that, when using graphs in presentations, we should follow these simple principles: “one … Read more