On alternative pizzas, pie charts and datavis pedantry

So our usually calm data visualization corner on Twitter was shaken by this tweet: https://twitter.com/YouGov/status/838720989991223297 quickly followed by this one: https://twitter.com/YouGov/status/838750115796041728 What was all the fuss about? Well, Elijah Meeks summarizes it nicely: https://twitter.com/Elijah_Meeks/status/838877302050082816 So, was this much ado about nothing? I don't think so. Putting a few percentages near all things circular is a dangerous thing to do on social [...]

By | March 7th, 2017|14 Effective design|Comments Off on On alternative pizzas, pie charts and datavis pedantry

10 reasons why you should take Excel dashboards seriously

This post on how to make Excel dashboards was one of the first I published here, and it still is one of the most popular posts. But I actually prefer broader data visualization discussions than Excel tips & tricks. Excel dashboards, although something that interests me, was never a priority. Until now. I just launched an ebook on Effective Excel Dashboard design (warning: in [...]

By | February 24th, 2017|Dashboards, Uncategorized|1 Comment

The drunken speedometer: the most dangerous chart alive

I have a soft spot for bad and seemingly hopeless charts and graphs. All they deserve a second chance, so I try to help them out of the gutter. The other day, I was roaming the dirty alleys of El Dorado Hills (don't ask) when I saw it. The speedometer. Few charts are strong enough to endure so much rejection, and the [...]

By | January 17th, 2017|08 Order and ranking|5 Comments

The 3 min datavis

I wanted do have something special for my students. And I don't like wasting training time explaining how to make a chart. So I decided to record several dozen videos showing how to make charts in Excel and called them The 3 min datavis. What is so special about it? Most of the videos will be no more than three-minute [...]

By | November 18th, 2016|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Etiquette for scientists

You are a brilliant scientist and you just made an amazing discovery. You want to announce it to the world. So you prepare a few slides and decide to use that cute font, Comic Sans. After the presentation you realize that, although people praise you for your discovery, a very vocal minority mocks you for using Comic Sans. After a [...]

By | July 7th, 2016|05 Data visualization|Comments Off on Etiquette for scientists

Get off my shoulders, said the giant

Dear Stephen Few I'm writing this assuming that my book Data at Work was one of the targets of your post “Data Visualization Lite”. If that is the case, thank you for spending some of your time reading the book. When I started my humble blog, never in my wildest dreams I though that would happen. And now you say [...]

By | June 28th, 2016|18 Books and authors|1 Comment

Bullet charts: an easy way to make them in Excel [Data at Work series]

(All the Excel charts in my book are available for download, but I promised to write tutorials for a few of them. This is the first one.) Name: Bullet charts What it is used for: to display key performance indicators. Use them to replace speedometers if you want a more compact visual that can be stacked to better compare KPI. Also, speedometers [...]

By | June 16th, 2016|08 Order and ranking, Tutorials|5 Comments

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

Write your own data visualization stylebook

A long time ago I tweeted about the need for everyone in the data visualization community to write a book. I wasn't joking: if you only tweet or write a few posts, you can't possibly comprehend the lay of your own data visualization land, how deep the rabbit hole goes, the ________________ (choose your own metaphor/cliché). It doesn't have to [...]

By | June 8th, 2016|14 Effective design, Authors and Books|Comments Off on Write your own data visualization stylebook