The data visualization – data art continuum

Data visualization is becoming a catch-all concept with little analytic usefulness. The infographic plague we have to endure is not helping. It doesn’t have to be that way. Stephen Few wrote recently about the distinction between data visualization (“the goal that data be visualized in a way that leads to understanding”) and data art (“visualizations … Read more

No, Tufte’s Charts Are not Plain and Simple

A new data visualization research paper finds that chart junk does not harm accuracy and actually improves recall. The paper is an interesting read but, unfortunately, not for the right reasons. I’ll discuss the paper in an upcoming post. Today I just want to comment a sentence from the introduction: “This minimalist

Stephen Few, Data Visualization, Eye Candy and the Pie

Stephen Few left a comment in my post “Is Data Visualization Useful? You’ll Have to Prove it“. We all have much to learn with Steve, so instead of leaving the discussion buried in an old post, I thought it would be interesting to make it more visible. Please read the comment then come here and … Read more

God and Moses? The Differences Between Edward Tufte and Stephen Few

I have a confession to make: my past is paved with chart-making sins, including some capital ones (yes, 3D pie charts, too). But years ago I saw the light in Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and since then I’ve been avoiding eye-candy temptations. Now I do my best to pursuit the path … Read more

Can Edward Tufte Do Business Charts?

1. Tufte, the Father of Eye-Candy Charts Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, published in 1983, is probably the most influential book in the history of data visualization, and it is likely to remain so for some more time. In his book, Tufte outlines for the first time a consistent theory of how a … Read more

Seth Godin on Great Graphs: A Very Light Purple Cow

Seth’s blog is always interesting, and usually I agree with him and learn something. However, when he discusses charts and graphs he’s often a very light  purple cow. This week he confirms that. Godin’s The three laws of great graphs tells us that, when using graphs in presentations, we should follow these simple principles: “one … Read more