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 of infographics, where marketeers, bloggers and graphic designers fight for a scarce good: your attention.

I have nothing much to had to the visible side. There are many good books by graphic designers for graphic designers. I own several of them and they are both beautiful and useful.

What about all those on the invisible side? They have different needs, different skills, different practices. Shouldn’t there be books for them too? Or are the publishers too busy with yet another Excel handbook?

You can always rely on Stephen Few’s books, but I believe we need something for Excel. Because everyone uses or have access to Excel. And, I’ll say it again, 90% of all corporate users need to know about data visualization can be practiced using Excel. Before switching for a better tool…

So, what can I do about it?

My New Year’s resolution for 2012 is to make this blog a consistent and structured data visualization resource for corporate users. I’ve outlined a “book” that I’ll be publishing here using pages, not posts (this allows for better structure). I’ll publish those pages more or less randomly but, like pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, structure is there, and each piece reveals a little more.

When can we start?

Right now. Here is the first page: What is a chart?

4 thoughts on “A course for the invisible data visualization users”

  1. Esta é uma bela iniciativa, Jorge. Seu blog, que já era uma referência obrigatória em data visualization for excel, se torna com esta série de posts leitura fundamental para todos nós neste “invisible side”.

  2. Obrigado Thiago. É minha intenção reativar o meu blog em Português em breve, onde irei publicar este curso.

  3. That is great news Jorge. You are so right – there’s really no hand book that shows how to do amazing dashboards in excel. There’s bloggers like yourself, Charlie Kyd, John Peltier, Chandoo (I could go on)who have shared your wisdom over the years, but there’s really no great book I can recommend to people that covers it all – design, analysis, excel, vba, how to set up the proper system for production, etc. Even though there are some wonderful new tools out there now for us lowly department analysts, Excel isn’t going away, and nor should it. It’s an amazingly powerful tool in the right hands. I look forward to the fruition of this resolution!

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