Suddenly, the colorful lollipop turns into a dangerous match

It surprised me. And it shouldn't. You see, there is nothing wrong in using data for the sole purpose of creating aesthetically pleasing visual objects. On the other hand, if you want to make sense of the data, and communicate your findings, it’s easy to argue that effectiveness should be your primary goal. This is the general model. Too black & white. When [...]

By | June 9th, 2016|03 Beyond perception, Context|Comments Off on Suddenly, the colorful lollipop turns into a dangerous match

Memo regarding data management and reporting

From: CMO To: All Staff Re: Changes in internal data analysis and reporting Consistent with current efforts to streamline our operations, management team has decided to change the way the company analyses and communicates business data. Recent assessments made clear that we are using just a small fraction of the available data, many decisions are not supported by enough data and we [...]

By | February 28th, 2012|03 Beyond perception, Context|11 Comments

The drummer – a data visualization bedtime story

(...) On the top of the mountain was a plain. There stood an old stone house, and in front of the house lay a great fish-pond, but behind it was a dark forest. He saw neither men nor animals, everything was quiet; only the wind rustled among the trees, and the clouds moved by quite close above his head. He went to the door [...]

By | January 19th, 2012|05 Data visualization, Context|Comments Off on The drummer – a data visualization bedtime story

Your glossy chart is more than that: it’s how you see the World.

The French call it l'air du temps, the spirit of the times. You breathe it, you wear it, you eat it. You can't escape it. Over the last 20 years, the spirit of our times gave us things like: Glossy Pie Chart   McMansion BMW X6 Jeremy Clarkson: "The X6 was conceived at a time when we all thought the [...]

By | April 24th, 2011|05 Data visualization, Context|1 Comment

The Wow Factor: How to Use Charts to Impress Your Boss

You are in the middle of a presentation and your worst nightmare suddenly comes true: your boss yawns, and for the right reasons too: your presentation is dull, your charts are dull dull dull and you are boring your audience to tears. The solution? High impact charts that keep your audience glued to the screen. What Are High Impact Charts? [...]

By | February 23rd, 2010|14 Effective design, Context|13 Comments

The Fish and The Fishing Rod: Core Skills for the Data Visualization Worker

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 Charley Kyd’s Excel dashboard reports. [...]

By | January 4th, 2010|05 Data visualization, Context|7 Comments

Charts Are for Sissies (Grumpy Old Man’s Guide to Charts)

Making a chart is so simple that even a chimpanzee can be trained to do it - press F11 and get the banana (that would explain the poor quality of many business charts and presentations - and the raising banana consumption). To prove that they are better than chimpanzees at making charts, humans invented the eye-candy and its epitome, the [...]

By | December 8th, 2009|03 Beyond perception, Context|5 Comments

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