Data visualization tools

Excel vs. Tableau vs. PowerBI

If you are an Excel user, are you aware of how flexible it is? Do you really take advantage of this flexibility when making charts? You can simply enter a few values and some (almost) random cells and visualize them. You can add empty rows or use dummy variables. When it comes to formatting, you can format at the data point [...]

Excel 2016: the elephant (not) in the room

Microsoft is apparently waking up and getting a bit more serious regarding visualization in Excel. Excel 2016 gets a few more chart types but, except for treemaps, nothing really new. We could make them with a little of work, but it's nice to have them ready to use. Here are the new chart types in Excel 2016: Boxplots (box-and-wiskers) Histogram [...]

By | May 21st, 2015|17 Data visualization tools|6 Comments

Poll: Best title/subtitle for my datavis book

Here I am, starring at a blank page trying to find a title that maximizes sales captures the true essence of my book. I wish I could choose an arbitrary title like, say, Autumn in Peking or The Squadron's Umbrella but, hélas!, some people wouldn't find that funny enough. So, I need you to help me, please. The book was [...]

Qlikview vs Tableau? I have to choose and I’m not sure

Most users love Excel, non-users hate it. When it comes to data visualization, Excel is generally dispised, except by those that have to make dozens of charts every single day. I call this the Excel Stockolm Syndrome. These are the forsaken data visualization users that keep making 3D pies when they should know better by now. Tired and overwhelmed. Not in the [...]

In London, for the Tableau Tour

I'll be in London tomorrow, November 16, for the Tableau 6.0 Tour. This is my first trip to London in many years and I hope this is also the starting point of a much closer relationship with Tableau. I believe that you can't improve the way people display data visually if: you tell/show them things that they can't relate to; [...]

By | November 15th, 2010|17 Data visualization tools|4 Comments

Excel Game Changers

You can learn a lot from an expert, but a game changer challenges your believes and assumptions and, at some point, that's exactly what you need to move forward. Creative destruction. I love it. Let me tell you about three of my personal Excel game changers. Jon Peltier Well, I don't have to tell you about Jon, everyone knows him. [...]

By | November 4th, 2010|17 Data visualization tools, Authors and Books|11 Comments

Want to Improve Your Excel Skills? Learn Access

What if you love Excel for all the wrong reasons? What if its flexibility creates nothing more than a glorified mess? What if you start neglecting the skills that truly matter? Every formula in Excel is an accident waiting to happen. Sometimes, a parameter is missing, sometimes it points to the wrong cell, sometimes you use absolute references instead of [...]

By | March 29th, 2010|17 Data visualization tools, Data Visualization Tools|Comments Off on Want to Improve Your Excel Skills? Learn Access

Are Excel Charts Hurting Your Business? 10 Mistakes You Should Avoid.

Are Excel charts, and Excel in general, a commodity, with no competitive advantage? Only if you want it to. Why? Because a vast majority of users: Have the data analysis skills of a toddler (or less); Can't go beyond chart defaults; Functions? They know how to click the SUM() button; Don't know what a dynamic chart is; Think pivot tables [...]

By | June 29th, 2009|17 Data visualization tools, Context|13 Comments

Excel Charts: If It Isn’t Broken…

I humbly accept our business visualization reality: 90% of all business charts are created in Excel and most business users are unwilling to learn yet another application and go through all sorts of hassles (data management, compatibility issues, file sharing) just because a different product offers a bigger chart gallery and some obscure defaults no one cares about (except the [...]