- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (April 24, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1119282713
- ISBN-13: 978-1119282716
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 60 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios Paperback – April 24, 2017
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From the Back Cover
Praise for THE BIG BOOK OF DASHBOARDS
"The Big Book of Dashboards provides a solid treatment of the fundamentals of data visualization, but the numerous examples are what set this book apart. The comments from the authors after each chapter remind the reader that creating influential dashboards is both a science and an art. This book will spend more time on my desk than on my shelfincredibly practical."
Jeffrey Camm, Inmar Presidential Chair, Associate Dean of Business Analytics, Wake Forest School of Business
"Some books about visualization focus on principles and guidelines, but they don't devote enough pages to explain how to apply them to the design of complex, multi-section displays, like business dashboards. This book is the opposite of that. While the book contains an introduction to data visualization fundamentals, it is the numerous examples of real dashboards that sets it apart. If you've ever found yourself stuck when creating a dashboard, you will likely find a solution here."
Alberto Cairo, author of The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication
"This book is full of beautiful dashboards along with uber-practical advice from three authors with many years of experience. It is a treasure chest for hardcore data-viz geeks and business leaders needing to get smart on how to present data to optimize operations."
J.D. Whitlock, VP, Enterprise Intelligence, Mercy Health
"This book provides you with a vast array of real-world dashboards, and shares the thoughts and considerations that have gone into each example. The authors even provide a full explanation that acts as a user guide. Mix and match these ideas, and you'll find what you need to visualize your data."
Josh Tapley, Director of Data Visualization, Comcast Corporation
"The artful combination of technique and problem solving come together in The Big Book of Dashboards as the authors demonstrate powerful design principles using real world use cases. Apply these principles to your next dashboard and watch your data come alive."
Bruce Henry, Managing Partner, False Peak Ventures
About the Author
STEVE WEXLER is the Founder and Principal of Data Revelations. He has helped scores of organizations worldwide understand and visualize their data.
JEFFREY SHAFFER is the VP of Information Technology and Analytics at Unifund and Adjunct Professor teaching Data Visualization at the University of Cincinnati.
ANDY COTGREAVE is Technical Evangelist at Tableau and writes the Living With Data column for ComputerWorld.
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The book focuses on the construction and logic behind dashboarding using some standard examples (hospital activity, sales, financials), so if you are looking for the nitty gritty of how to build these visualizations you need to go back to your Tableau 101. This is about figuring out the best way to convey lots of information without overloading the reader. This will become a reference book in my department and I foresee pulling it out for users to give examples of dashboarding ideas.
I only wish there would have been more before and after examples. It is helpful to see what people are starting with and the thought process that created the final product.
Overall, it is a helpful book that will guide data visualizers to the next level.
Below are some thoughts on certain vizzes/chapters:
· CH 2 and 20 - Course Metrics and Complaints - I would encourage Tableau to research gray text readability. Perhaps I have a genetic rod deficiency, or maybe it's because of my age, but I find the gray text to be hard to read. I think the effort to reduce contrast crosses a usability threshold. I'd like to see some tests of a type "solve a problem in this dashboard" with different gray scales in text. I'd wager darker equals a faster solution up to a certain point after which it doesn't matter. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this: monitor size, font size, bold, brightness, contrast, so you have to experiment with what works for you and the majority or your users.
· CH 11 - Premier League Player Performance Metric. I think the applicability of this viz approach can be generalized even further to unit:subset:universe. For this football (soccer) viz, it's the most recent match, 5 next most recent, then all season. So the viz is by sets according to time. It could also be by organizational hierarchy as in employee: department: division for a fixed time period. In this same manner, Chapter 3 (speaker ratings) is conceptually equivalent, but it lacks the subset level. You could have speaker, topic area, and then all others.
CH 12 - Rugby Dashboard - This is an interesting chapter. One option for a scoring viz us using Gantt Bars. t would be nice the book's dashboard were shaded between the lines to emphasize who is leading. I know this is a long-sought (by some) Tableau function, and maybe it's not too hard to implement if it's reimagined as a "Gantt Line", which would be identical to a Gantt Bar use case, except that it graphs lines while coloring the intermediate space. You can kinda do that with 3 levels of unstacked area charts... but not exactly.
· CH 21 - Overall, I like the aesthetics of the Hospital Operating room dashboard, but I expected the screaming cat icon ("don't do this!") over the top of it. The calendar of the viz resembles the periodic table of elements, and the labels seem to be at odds with the "reduce clutter" guideline. The numbers are just a bit too much for me, but they could be exactly what the customer wanted in this case. Hey, chemists LIKE the periodic table! And some people don't want to hover for tooltip details, or they may have other motivations. I like to try to put myself in the shoes of the consumer and ask "Would the color itself be sufficient for me to make an actionable decision?" To me, the numbers don't have to be on the viz, and the calendars can be shrunken to show other information, but the dashboard isn't designed for me.
Overall, this book is a "top shelf" selection on dashboard design that you can revisit over and over for best practices.
And that's my favorite thing about this book, it is an imminently practical roadmap to getting beyond data in Excel spreadsheets and getting to stimulating conversations that can drive positive changes at work. I'm grateful to Steve and his co-authors for putting great examples into one book. If a picture is worth 1000 words, a revelatory data visualization is worth 5000. Enjoy the book and the conversations that will spring from it!
If you are responsible for creating visualizations, particularly in Tableau, this book is a must-have. Consider it a paperback muse, since while it doesn't offer step-by-step instructions and may not include your exact use case, a casual flip through the pages will give you ideas for views you'd never have thought of otherwise. A great idea and great execution by some of the industry's sharpest minds. Well done!