Cooking Better Charts

Templates and defaults are very useful when you are not a subject-matter expert. You don’t have to know much, but if you choose the wrong templates you are on the wrong track. Cooking is a good example. I don’t know how to cook and, frankly, I don’t want to learn. But my wife is coming … Read more

Weltanschauung, Lies and Charts

It’s very easy to use charts to support false arguments, distortions, omissions or outright lies. But you can use words and statistics too. If you want to deceive nothing will stop you. (Required reading: How To Lie With Charts and How to Lie with Statistics). Simple lies are often easy to spot and not very … Read more

Data Visualization Personas

If you want to sell better data visualization practices you can’t use the same approach with everyone. Marketers use archetypes and like to create stories around them like if they were real people. Their marketing messages are then tailored for Jane (archetype #1) or Theresa (archetype #2). Let’s try this. Allow me to introduce you … Read more

Ads, Chartjunk and the Fart Machine

You know, I would really love to quit my day job and spend my time learning about information visualization, write about it, help people understand why good information visualization skills are relevant for their business. Now, I could try to speed up things by selling some crappy affiliate products, fill up the blog with Google … Read more

Seth Godin Is Getting It…

From time to time, Seth Godin comes to visit our little field of information visualization, and I’m pleased to note that he is learning… Today’s post, “How to make graphs that work” is remarkably better than “The three laws of great graphs” or “How to make a PowerPoint chart”. Today he warns  us against Excel … Read more

Inconsequential Foreplay

Nathan discusses this chart. He says: I know a lot of you don’t like bubbles in your viz, but this one works for me. Jon Peltier, in the comments, argues that: Sets of bars would have been more effective. Tim adds the definitive argument: “Always using bar charts is like always using missionary position. It … Read more

Here's How the Unemployment Rate Sounds Like

Do you want to know how the unemployment rate sounds like? Copy this string: 65536,32768,16384,16384,16384,4096, 4096,2048,1024,1024,256,128,64,16,4,2 and paste it into here (right-click, past). Now the Dow Jones Index: 2,4,4,2,2,32,32,16,64,1024,2048,4096, 16384,65536,32768,16384 All together now: 65538,32772,16388,16386,16386, 4128,4128,2064,1088,1024,2304, 4224,16448,65552,32772,16386 This is fun. (Big gloomy smile.)