Is Crystal Xcelsius a toy piano?

Pascal Comelade, a french musician, plays toy pianos for a living. How many of us could do the same? How many of us could (professionally) use toys instead of our standard, grown-up tools? Now imagine that a toy maker starts marketing their toys as serious musical instruments. How would Beethoven’s 5th Symphony sound like? At … Read more

Pie charts: a neverending discussion

We all know how found of pie charts Tufte is: A table is nearly always better than a dumb pie chart; the only worse design than a pie chart is several of them, for then the viewer is asked to compare quantities located in spatial disarray both within and between charts (…). Given their low … Read more

XCelsius Dashboard: the population pyramid

Can my Excel Demographic Dashboard be recreated in Crystal XCelsius? This is the main theme for this series of posts. In the first post I set the stage, define the rules and show how the basic “demographic KPI’s” can be displayed using gauges. The second post discusses one of the major drawbacks I find in … Read more

Sort and proportions in bar charts

This chart [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][via Junk Charts] in the New York Times uses a “tornado” chart (a population pyramid-like chart) to display two series, advertising spending in measured (traditional media) and unmeasured (Internet…) channels. … Read more

How I won the Nobel Prize

Al Gore and the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Why? Why Al Gore? Thousands of scientists have been warning about the climate change for years. Why not them? Because of his political weight? Of course, but not only that. Because he learned (the hard way) how to communicate … Read more

Design and information visualization: two worlds apart

Yes, I know about the Malofiej awards and the Society for News Design. Yes, I know that there are many many designers out there that really care about the data and use their skills to communicate effectively, sometimes with awesome results. Sacrificing data on the altar of Beauty But for many many more, data is … Read more

The "what-would-Tufte-say" syndrome

An alarming level of the “what-would-Tufte-say” syndrome can be found in this post and some of its comments discussing a New York Times’s infographic. This syndrome has some recognizable features like the extensive use of “chart junk”, “lie factor” or other terms and expressions coined by Tufte that reveal a somewhat misunderstanding or abusive usage … Read more

Visualizing change with Stephen Few

Well, I must say I am a bit disappointed with the September issue of Stephen Few’s Visual Business Intelligence Newsletter. It discusses an important but much neglected topic, visualizing change through animation. Few’s paper was written for SAS Institute, and uses JMP, a statistical analysis product from them. From the screenshots, I wouldn’t say I … Read more