Poll: Best title/subtitle for my datavis book

Here I am, starring at a blank page trying to find a title that maximizes sales captures the true essence of my book. I wish I could choose an arbitrary title like, say, Autumn in Peking or The Squadron’s Umbrella but, hélas!, some people wouldn’t find that funny enough.

So, I need you to help me, please. The book was […]

Two datavis places I don’t belong to

I’m an introvert, so it’s very easy for me to also be an uncompromising Marxist (the Groucho flavor), specially when it comes to club membership (I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member) but things changed since I discovered data visualization. I love it and love this loose sense of community.
NTTS 2015
Thing […]

By |March 23rd, 2015|Design|3 Comments|

Eurostat, or the art of factoid growing

It saddens me to know that 23-year old Belgium girls are incapable of abstract reasoning, something that everyone in other parts of the world take for granted by the age of 12. That’s why we should praise Eurostat for its dumb-down, infographic-oriented approach to data dissemination. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you may want to take […]

By |March 11th, 2015|Design|0 Comments|

Bad charts from people who should know better

Over the last few days I came across some really WTF visualizations from respected people and organizations here. They all share the international language of bad design, so I’m sure you don’t need to know Portuguese to (not) understand them.

Público, a newspaper:

 

The National Council of Education:

Jorge Braga de Macedo, an economist:

 

FFMS, a foundation who’s mission “is to study, disseminate and debate Portugal’s situation freely and […]

By |October 6th, 2014|Design|2 Comments|

The structure of a data visualization book

There is no one-size-fits-all datavis, but most books are written from a very generic or a graphic design perspective, Stephen Few’s books being one of the exceptions [update: should have also mentioned Naomi Robbins’s book]. So, I decided to write an unsexy entry level data visualization book for the illiterate and artistically challenged spreadsheet user (I also wanted to know if […]

Find the revolution

I have a challenge for you. The chart above displays the evolution of infant mortality rate in Portugal. The years in the x-axis are not labeled on purpose. In one of those years there was a left-wing revolution. Left-wingers say that a sharp decline in the infant death rate is one of the “conquests” of the revolution, while right-wingers say that the […]

For the Greek hairdressers, the party’s over

In the beginning of the Greek debt crisis, Greek hairdressers became one of the symbols of a badly managed country (they could retire at 50 with full benefits). But there is more and more interesting things to say about them.

Take a look at inflation rates for hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments in Greece. This is something that you […]

By |January 28th, 2014|Data|Comments Off|

Easy way to make bullet charts and boxplots in Excel

I am sure I’m missing something here, but I don’t understand why making bullet charts and boxplots have to be so overly complex in Excel. Instead of messing around with bars and scales and secondary axes, a 1D scatterplot can be used to make both charts. I’ve been using this (obvious?) solution for a long time. I’m sure it […]

By |November 20th, 2013|Tutorials|8 Comments|

A classification of chart types

A few weeks ago, I needed a classification of chart types for my book, and reinventing the wheel was the last thing I wanted to do. I started with Andrew’s classification and the Juice Analytics version. It’s a good starting point, but I couldn’t fit it into my work, so I decided to design my own classification (it’s always nice […]

By |November 4th, 2013|Chart Types|9 Comments|

Chart redraw: Troops Vs. Cost (Time Magazine)

Time Magazine published a very boring combo dual-axes chart with a broken scale. Most of the time these charts beg for a connected scatterplot, so I made the one above. The original chart was something like this: I’m sorry, Time mag,  but my chart tells hands down a much more interesting story. [UPDATE] Made a new, annotated version.