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The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don'ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures Paperback – December 16, 2013
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“An essential reference for anyone who needs to effectively convey quantitative information using graphs. Everyone will learn something from reading this book.” (Joseph Tracy, executive vice president and director of research, Federal Reserve Bank of New York)
“Dona Wong’s outstanding new book artfully blends lessons on data analysis and graphic design. She shows us how to make our complex, confusing graphs and presentations both simple and powerful.” (Peter Tufano, Coleman Professor of Financial Management, Harvard Business School)
“Dona Wong’s professional advice advances the art of information graphics.” (Gene Zelazny, director of visual communications, McKinsey & Company)
“We live in an increasingly data-driven world, and Dona Wong does a masterful job of explaining how to make data come alive and tell the truth in an engaging way.” (Mark Zandi, chief economist, Moody’s Economy.com)
From the Back Cover
Advance Praise for The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics:
“An essential reference for anyone who needs to effectively convey quantitative information using graphs. Everyone will learn something from reading this book.”―Joseph Tracy, executive vice president and director of research, Federal Reserve Bank of New York
“We live in an increasingly data-driven world, and Dona Wong does a masterful job of explaining how to make data come alive and tell the truth in an engaging way.”―Mark Zandi, chief economist, Moody’s Economy.com
“Dona Wong’s professional advice advances the art of information graphics.”―Gene Zelazny, director of visual communications, McKinsey & Company
“Software has made it wonderfully easy to produce graphs and charts to illustrate everything from your company’s capital expenditures to your daughter’s science project. Trouble is, the software won’t stop you from making bad graphics. This book will.”―Paul Steiger, editor in chief of ProPublica, former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal
“Dona Wong’s outstanding new book artfully blends lessons on data analysis and graphic design. She shows us how to make our complex, confusing graphs and presentations both simple and powerful.”―Peter Tufano, Sylvan C. Coleman Professor of Financial Management, Harvard Business School
“An invaluable tool for people from all walks of life―not just designers. Dona Wong has created a practical, clearly illustrated guide that demonstrates information design principles and techniques through numerous dos and don’ts.”―Alan Siegel, chairman and CEO, Siegel+Gale, and best-selling author of The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Markets --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The digital printing does the book a disservice and the minimal color used is flat. Paper version. The orange/gray section is fine but I think the printing should have been done on a smooth paper. It matters from screen to paper. You can see the printing and paper take away from the over all design. The design was thoughtful but took a hit on printing. I would not have purchased in the store had I skimmed it.
With that said – quick insightful read. I was just expecting more.
Some were happy it was simplified and minimal. I wanted more, and a nicer print job.
The first chapter covers basic issues like how many colors, what colors, how many lines, etc.. The second, which is the bulk of the book, contrasts effective and poor graphics on side by side pages. There is concise useful advice on truncating ranges, breaking axes, using broken bar graphs, how many pie pieces, etc. The advice is beyond simple do or do not break a bar, it discusses how much of a discrepancy in the height of a bar chart merits a break. While other books have advice that ends with "do or do not use some graphics" (like pie charts), this one has great advice on when it makes sense to do things like break graphics into sets of pictures, use broken bars in bar charts, how and when to set scales (so that graphics afford meaningful comparisons) and how to make the best use of pie charts. There is a short section on descriptive statistics, when to use means, medians, plotting percentages vs actual changes, etc. and there is a surprisingly nice section on the algebra for setting axes which I have never seen written up. The final two chapters deal with specialize topics like plotting financial matters or plotting time series and relations among groups.
The only real down side is there is no discussion of what tools to use to make the graphics or how the graphics in this book were rendered. Despite this, the book is superb because it covers the material in adequate detail and it gives insights that are either not covered at all or are scattered across many sources.
It's straight to the point, full of solid information, and is designed to reflect what it preaches.
I'm assuming that if you've been working with graphics and figures and tables for awhile, much of this won't be new. But for those like me, who have a basic understanding of why some things work and some things don't, this deepened my knowledge and gave me concrete items to list when something simply felt "off."
Again, this probably isn't for graphic designers or those who've been dealing with such figure making for years, but for any novice and / or those of us who deal with this content enough to need to understand them on a deeper-than-surface level, this is a perfect book to read and reference.
the book is presented in a succinct and easy to understand manner, no clutter what so ever.
just do yourself a favor and buy it!
Instead, this is one of the most pragmatic and useful primers for creating clear and accessible data visualisations – and far more concise than say Stephen Few or Edward Tufte.