When It’s OK to NOT Start Your Axis at Zero

Don’t kick me out of the dataviz club for this. For a long time, folks have been adamant that the y axis has to start at zero. Otherwise, we are exaggerating the scale of the graph, distorting data, and lying like we work for Fox News. I’ve had my reservations about this but been comfortable […]

Announcing The Rad Presenters Podcast!

I know some really rad presenters. One of the raddest in Jon Schwabish, which is why I’m absolutely thrilled to launch a brand new podcast with him. The Rad Presenters Podcast! Each episode we will cover a new topic related to presenting – picking great images, the array of slide deck software, audience engagement strategies, […]
Evergreen Evolving

Evergreen Evolving

I took a deep breath and I did it. I changed my Twitter handle. This is a big deal. Things sure are evolving around here. It goes like this: I fell into the field of evaluation. Like most people on the planet (including my parents), I had no idea what evaluation was. My grad school […]

Death Penalty Graphics

What kind of imagery do you use when talking about the death penalty? I was out west a few months ago, working with Rakesh Mohan and his army of awesome. In the past, I had pressured them to use graphics in their reports and slides. And they did! Only the pictures they chose were government […]

Declutter Dataviz with Small Multiples

Are you making graphs that look like this crap? I won’t make you raise your hand. But let’s just agree not to do this, yeah? It’s SUPER hard to compare the tops of a bunch of bars. Two side by side bars per region ain’t so bad but beyond that and we are just being […]

The Easiest Way to Make Bullet Charts in Excel

There are lots of ways to make bullet charts, some easier than others, some better suited for specific visualization contexts. Hell, there are plug-ins you can purchase that make it a snap. Except when my plug-in broke and I had to remake about a bazillion bullet graphs in several dashboards. :/ doesn’t even begin to […]

Guest Post – Charting Confidence Intervals

Hi there! I’m Angie Ficek and I’m a program evaluator at a small evaluation consulting firm called Professional Data Analysts, Inc. (PDA) in Minneapolis, MN. In a previous post, Stephanie wrote about adding standard deviations to a dataviz. I responded to her post with an example of how we add confidence intervals to our charts. […]

What the Hell is Wrong with the Projector & How to Fix It

Meet a hero. This is Kailen Brooks. A few months ago, I was giving a workshop on data visualization to about 40 people at the AEA Summer Institute when pretty much everything that could have gone wrong almost did. Someone’s spilled drink ran dangerously close to my computer. My mic suddenly gave birth to terrible feedback […]

Adding a Benchmark Line to a Graph

This simple line packs so much power. Adding a benchmark line to a graph gives loads of context for the viewer. Here’s how to make one right inside Excel. It’s so easy you might pass out. My data table looks like this: I have my data and I have the benchmark value listed next to each. Highlight […]

Embracing Data Visualization in Evaluation: A Management Perspective

Friends! I’m so happy to have Rakesh Mohan guest blogging for me. He is one helluva guy. He is the Director of the Office of Performance Evaluations, an independent agency of the Idaho State Legislature. In other words, his eval clients are lawmakers. You ask me for examples of reporting in government – here you go! In […]

RT @RadPresenters: We are recording our next episode soon & we'll block out time to answer your Qs. What are you struggling with? Send ques…

Looking for an embeddable survey tool that will let respondents use a slider to position themselves on a spectrum. Know of any?

Check out the expanded #dataviz section of @BetterEval that we've been cooking up! #eval

Afternoon friends: The rules about when it's ok to NOT start your axis at zero. #dataviz

RT @esjewett: @evergreendata Yes! Also when the traditional 0-value is no more meaningful than any other value. Temperature, for instance.

RT @AnnKEmery: [New post] Span Charts: When you've only got the min and max, not a mean/median/frequency…

Perhaps a controversial post: When It's Ok to NOT Start your Axis at Zero #dataviz

RT @parisakharazi: Useful find: Introducing the Data Visualization Checklist - Thanks for the great tips! @evergreen

Prepping interactive #dataviz example for workshop w/ K-12 folks next week. Instructions at

I'll be in #melbourne Nov 11-15. Grab some coffee with me? Ride a wave?