Don't Try to Be Memorable (Grumpy Old Man's Guide to Making Charts)

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

Don't Try to Be Creative (Grumpy Old Man's Guide to Making Charts)

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

Data Visualization: Who Needs a Reality Check?

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

Information Visualization Is a Jigsaw Puzzle

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 Godin on Great Graphs: A Very Light Purple Cow

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