Sparklines, Excel, Crystal Xcelsius and stealth-mode charts

You struggle every single day to design the best, the most eye-catching chart for the next presentation. If your goal is to impress your boss, you can stop reading, I have nothing new to offer, I can’t even impress mine. But if you really want to understand your data, there is some (hopefully) interesting stuff … 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

Demographic Dashboard: The Crystal Xcelsius Edition?

Part 1: The Beginning I just downloaded the trial (full-featured) version of Crystal Xcelsius Professional 4.5. This is a typical dashboard solution from a leading vendor and, although Stephen Few doesn’t like it I decided to buy it. Well, on one simple condition: by the end of the trial period I must have a working … Read more

Recommended reading and a custom search engine

I just added to the sidebar an Amazon widget with some recommended reading. These are my personal favorites (regarding information display) and I do recommend them. I’m just starting, so you’ll find my choices pretty obvious. There is also a new custom search engine. It starts with around 160 sites covering charts, presentation, (business) information … Read more

How to create a dashboard in Excel

Excel dashboard

Excel dashboards and executive reports are powerful, fairly easy to design and a great way to improve your Excel and data visualization skills. Because of its flexibility, you can virtually design any dashboard in Excel exactly the way you, or the users, imagined. And, best of all, you may want to implement it yourself or … Read more

Charts to understand the world (and understand the charts)

Charting, information visualization, business visualization, graphic literacy, dashboards, bad charts, good charts. How to do, why don’t do. Plus Excel and other tools. These are the topics you will find in this blog. That’s a promise. Although this is the beginning of a new blog, I’ve been writing about these things for the last 10 … Read more