Escaping the Bar Chart

Bar charts aren’t evil. But they’re overused. I talked about Designs to Start Using Instead at the DataScienceGO conference in April 2021. We talked about my three favorite techniques for exploratory data visualization– spark lines, data bars and heat tables– and then I gave them some different options for maps. Are you ready to escape the bar chart?
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Why “Know Your Audience” is Terrible Dataviz Advice—and What to Do Instead

Every time I scroll through social media, someone’s post is telling me: “Want to know the secret to great dataviz?! Know your audience!” “Want to make a great dashboard?! Know your audience!!” I mean… duh. “Knowing your audience” is terrible data visualization advice. What does that even mean?! It’s too broad. It’s too generic. It’s too beginner-level. What’s the alternative? Not know my audience? Ignore their preferences altogether? Of course not. In this article, let’s dive deeper. Let’s look at 8 specific, nuanced, advanced ways of “knowing our audience.”
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Dashboard Design and “The Big Picture” in Dataviz: A Conversation with Steve Wexler

I recently had the chance to talk with Steve Wexler, founder of Data Revelations, author of The Big Picture: How to Use Data Visualization to Make Better Decisions- Faster and co-author of The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios. We talked about Steve’s career trajectory, his books, how he found Tableau, why he loves collaboration and much more.
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How to Engage Your Audience with “Choose Your Own Adventure” Presentations

Ready for an advanced presentation technique? Want to make sure your audience is engaged? No, those 10-minute Q&As at the end of a presentation don’t count as adequate engagement. Let’s notch up our engagement! In this blog post, you’ll learn about the “Choose Your Own Adventure” method for engaging our audiences during presentations. You’ll see a brief demo of the Choose Your Own Adventure method, a behind-the-scenes tour of my slides and a discussion of the caveats so you can decide when to use this method.
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How to Organize Your PowerPoint Slides by Adding Sections

Want to organize your PowerPoint slides a little better? There’s a behind-the-scenes trick that I love using in my own presentations: Sections! In this blog post and video tutorial, I’ll give you a demo of what sections are, how to add them, how I use them to hide topics and how I use them to re-order topics.
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How to Visualize Qualitative Data with Colored Phrases

Wondering how to visualize your qualitative data? Maybe you’ve got open-ended survey responses, focus group notes, or speech transcripts. Qualitative data visualization can bring our words and phrases to life. I created a tutorial on using colored phrases to visualize qualitative data. In this tutorial, you’ll learn: 1) the first time I ever used colored phrases to visualize qualitative data; 2) my favorite examples of colored phrases; and 3) practical tips for using colored phrases in your project.
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