When to Viz

One of the biggest barriers to making great data visualization is the time it takes to do so. But that’s typically because we wait to start visualizing until it’s late in the game. This post is on when to viz. The Typical Data Visualization Process Let’s say you want to…

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Better Posters

I have a big ask. I want you to set aside three and a half minutes of your life (I know that’s a gajillion years these days) to watch Mike Morrison. I promise, he’ll make your heart sing. Mike’s right. The way we talk about data has to change.

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Graphs Need a Personal Bubble

You know that one friend who is otherwise nice enough but he stands inside your personal bubble? Like, even before the pandemic, he just needed to take one healthy step back. You’re cool, you’re just up in my space. Right. Just like you want a little breathing room,…

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Sharpen your Clutter Detector

Clutter shows up as all the unnecessary little things in your graph – anything that isn’t contributing to engagement with the data. You might think the little stuff can be overlooked but when you accumulate multiple graphs and their clutter into a dashboard, it feels too busy and overwhelming and…

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3 Reasons Academics Need to Get Better at Graphs

This is one of the best worst graphs of all time. It was published, no surprise, in an academic journal. It used to be that mediocre data viz was acceptable for academics because journals had limitations on what they could do with color and…

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How to Create a Data Viz Position for Yourself

Tameeka emailed me this: “I’ve been a researcher for 10+ years but my passion and strength really is data viz. I’m trying to figure out how/where I can do that more than other research stuff. Should I start my own data viz business? Any chance you’d be down for like…

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When You Shouldn’t Hire a Data Viz Consultant

Hiring consultants to conduct studies can be an excellent means of turning problems into gold, your problems into their gold.– Martin Marietta Cheeky, Martin. But there’s some truth to that – consultants are expensive. In 99.98% of my consulting projects, my clients get so much value that…

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Save as Template

This is my A+ #1 100% best time-saving hack for making graphs in Excel. When you go through the process of making that one graph that’s totally perfect, you can save it as a template so it becomes, essentially, your new default graph. Here’s how. Right-click somewhere in…

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Signs Your Data Viz Sings

I wish that every awesome data viz presentation ended with each coworker blasting a confetti popper over your head. The reality is that when your data viz sucks, you know it loud and clear. When it sings, you often can’t tell. This post is not going to provide an anatomy…

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Signs Your Data Viz Sucks

You might have landed here because you thought this was going to be a post full of snarky commentary on mediocre graphs. It isn’t. In fact, I’m not going to include a single data viz. Because what makes a data viz suck or sing isn’t just about its outward…

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