- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (January 21, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118502892
- ISBN-13: 978-1118502891
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Data Visualization For Dummies 1st Edition
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From the Publisher
Big Data Is Big Business
When it comes to interpreting the tremendous amounts of information available in today's business world, data visualization is a critical tool. Organizations are clamoring to find visualization experts to help express and explain data in meaningful ways so that their big data can lead to big business.
Get to Know Your Audience
When you think about creating data visualizations, your mind probably goes immediately to the type of chart style you’ll use or the data that will populate it. But, before you make those choices, you need to take a step back and consider who the audience is for your visualization and how you will ensure that it has value to them.
It's About More Than Good Design
It’s true that there are critical decisions that should be made about a variety of details that go into your visualization, but without robust user adoption, it will be a wasted effort. Here are five things you need to consider when creating visualizations that will enthusiastically be used.
Five Ways to Win Users for Your Data Visualizations:
- Understanding Your User's Goals: It would be very easy to establish goals for your visualization if everyone who used them had the same agenda. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Even in a small department, users have different needs that may not overlap. While the differences may seem subtle, they really aren't, and the only way to ensure you have a handle on these nuances is to meet with your major stakeholders to identify their needs and secure their buy-in.
- Knowing How Often the Data Will Be Accessed: The data you choose to populate your visualization with is the key to its value. When choosing data you want to be very clear about how often you expect users will need fresh data. Once that is determined, make sure users know when they can expect the data to be refreshed and how to go about accessing new content.
- Choosing the Right Look: When we talk about the right "look", we are referring to things like the type of colors, navigation, fonts, and icons that are used. When creating your visualization, be sure to consider things like colors associated with a company's brand, readability of fonts, and the best way to display your data so that users can navigate it with little to no instruction.
- Displaying Credibility: If users believe that your visualization lacks credibility, no amount of marketing will encourage them to use it, but how do you add something intangible, like credibility, to your design? It's simple if you consistently include copyright information letting users know that you stand by your data, terms and conditions that outline how the visualization can be displayed, and your company logo to help users recognize and remember your brand.
- Announcing Its Availability: Don't make your users find your data by accident. Whether your audience is internal or external, you have to vigorously promote your visualizations to let people know they exist and that they will be maintained and updated on a regular basis. You'll be surprised at how much attention your visualizations can receive with just a little promotion. So, don't be afraid to herald their entrance everywhere you can.
a good place to start if you are involved in capturing information with a view of presenting it to various audiences, but still leaves plenty of room for you to apply your own imagination. (BCS: The Chartered Institute for IT, April 2014) This straightforward colour guide will help you present data in an easy-to-read and interesting manner. (Talk Business, April 2014)
From the Back Cover
- Develop meaningful illustrations of large volumes of data
- Create eye-catching visualizations
- Make your data stand out in a crowd
Forget mind-numbing charts and spreadsheets. Create compelling visuals that wow!
Data is king, but if you can’t present it in a meaningful way, you could be missing actionable information. From demonstrating trending and relationships in data to presenting complex details and effective visuals, this guide shows you how. You’ll be wowing audiences in no time as you learn how to analyze and display data to really make an impact.
- Making sense of it all — learn how to add context and apply text analysis to make your data intelligent
- Stand out in style — discover how to add easy-to-use navigation using the right menu types and apply an effective color scheme
- Watch your step — follow a checklist as you build your visualization to avoid falling into the various traps that can spell doom to a project
- What do you want to say? — find out how to help your data tell interesting stories that give you a competitive edge
Open the book and find:
- Ways to explore common types of data visualizations
- How to turn Big Data problems into opportunities
- Methods for using charts more effectively
- Steps for building your first Big Data visualization
- How to develop a clear mock-up and add stunning visuals
- Examples of good and bad applications of data visualization
- Tips on avoiding common beginner pitfalls
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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In this era of big data and sophisticated analytics those tortured souls whose job it is to explain and inform have a big problem: How to make understandable and actionable what the data reveals.
The “traditional” methods of business intelligence (BI) show and tell — a stack of pie charts, some printouts, and a couple of Powerpoint slideshows — really don’t cut it when you’re working with huge amounts of complex data that’s in a constant state of flux. Under these conditions you need a solid framework that constrains and defines the insights you’re presenting otherwise you’ll confuse your audience at best and mislead them at worst.
So, how do you go about maximizing the impact of your BI data? I have an answer for you: Get a copy of Data Visualization for Dummies.
Written by my friend, Mico Yuk, a well-known BI expert, with Stephanie Diamond, an online marketing and strategy consultant, this book starts with the basics such as identifying what data should you be collecting and who your audience will be then walks you through data visualization concepts, the planning and construction of a data viz, and covers an often neglected aspect of visualizations; measuring how users actually use the final product.
Topics such as storyboarding, the use of color, how and when to use charts, dials, and gauges, how to create mockups, and what tools to use are all covered. A really useful and instructive section of the book slices and dices real world examples to show not only what does work but also what doesn’t.
Data Visualization for Dummies is a readable and thoroughly useful book for beginners as well as for more experienced BI practitioners because it provides a framework for planning and execution and helps you avoid the pitfalls (of which there are many in the data viz world).
This is not a book that tells you how to program data visualizations but rather a style and best practices guide and there's nothing else quite like it on the market. Data Visualization for Dummies is highly recommended and gets a Gearhead rating of 5 out of 5.
With the visual nature of this medium, aesthetics, color, placement, "actionability" of the information and interactions users can perform with the solution are all critical to a successful solution and therefore I feel that chapters 7 to 9 of this book is worth the book's weight in platinum ... let me explain why I write that. Even with multiple data visualization or guided analytic projects under our belts, we still hear business users say "I'll know what I want when I see it.". Using the prescribed process outlined in those chapters of this book guided us to getting through that phase and achieved a WELL-DEFINED TARGET at the end.
Before you take on a dashboard effort, read this book and encourage your business clients to read it as well so that the appropriate expectations are set and the same successful approach we benefited from is laid out by the book for every one of your project participants to understand.
If you want a click-by-click guide on how to create a dashboard, download the PDF user guide of your dashboard software of choice. But if you want to learn how to go about conducting a successful data visualization effort, read this book.
I have not attended a BI Dashboard Formula workshop, so I cannot offer a perspective on the materials presented here versus what is used during the workshop. Because I'm a technician and not a business user, I was immediately attracted to two resources that can be downloaded from the book's companion web site. The first is a template for the BI Dashboard Formula Storyboard, which helps organize the content obtained from dashboard scoping sessions. The second is a Data Visualization Evaluation Form that will help organizations peer-review existing dashboards using over twenty criteria organized into seven categories. The book explains in detail how to use both of these resources for project-based work.
Inexperienced visualization designers will appreciate the "what not to do" voice-of-experience aspects of the book just as much as the "what to do" aspects. And throughout the book there are lots of references to web sites and other books that will be useful on the data visualization journey. More experienced designers may already have a bookshelf full of titles from other voices like Stephen Few and Edward Tufte. But even they will find help here if their organization struggles with the "human" side of visualizing data.
If I could change anything, it would be more examples of data visualizations from the world of business and fewer illustrations deconstructing web sites, which are a different problem domain.