How Drawing Makes Us Better at Data Visualization

Feb 23rd, 2021 / Data Visualization
“Which software program is best for data visualization???” This is one of the most common questions about getting started with graphs, charts, and diagrams. There are plenty of great software programs, like Excel and Tableau—and even PowerPoint! There’s also a lesser-known secret to creating strong data visualizations: hand-drawn sketches.
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The Data Strategy Show with Samir Sharma

Jan 12th, 2021 / Dashboards
How can we design the best possible dashboards for business leaders? I addressed this question on the Data Strategy Show with Samir Sharma. We talked about challenges companies face when trying to visualize data, what we should be thinking about when creating or re-designing dashboards and how to learn more about data visualization as a whole.
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Listening to What Data Users *Say* They Need… but Giving Them What They *Actually* Need

Oct 27th, 2020 / Data Visualization
I recently had the chance to talk with Zach Bowders on his podcast, Data + Love. Zach is a data analyst, a Tableau Public Ambassador, and passionate about data visualization and data storytelling. We talked about how to distinguish between IT and data professionals, how to narrow what users *actually* need, understanding your audience and how to speak up when data isn’t useful.
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Re-envisioning a University’s Monthly Report: Two Reports with Two Different Purposes

Oct 20th, 2020 / Dashboards
“How can I show my audience that 24,000 is a big number??” an evaluator asked me. She’s right; this is challenging. A single number on its own doesn’t tell us anything. Have you heard those (un)professional recommendations like, “Just type the 24,000 in large font so it grabs attention!” or “Add an icon next to the 24,000 to bring it to life!” Sigh. Want to bring numbers to life? We need to compare numbers to something. Here are two suggestions.
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Visualizing Your Annual Survey Results: Four Makeovers That Didn’t Work, and the Fifth That Did

Virtually every organization conducts satisfaction surveys of one kind or another. I’m going to show you the before version followed by five makeovers. The first makeover didn’t work. The second makeover didn’t work. The third makeover didn’t work. The fourth makeover didn’t work. Just as I was about to give up, I found a winning design with my fifth attempt!
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