Memorable Charts? Forget About It!

This too much discussed paper “found that people’s accuracy in describing the embellished charts was no worse than for plain charts, and that their recall after a two-to-three week gap was significantly better. In addition, participants preferred the embellished charts”.

OK, let’s take a deep breath. Apparently, all things being equal, you should use a junk-ridden chart because people actually […]

By |July 15th, 2010|Design|1 Comment|

The Healing Power of Statistics

A week ago, my father underwent a risky surgery. The doctors weren’t sure if they should do it, given his old age, but we all agreed that letting the disease take its course was not an option.

After a week, he seems to be recovering well. He was in the ICU for three days, but that seems to be a […]

By |June 22nd, 2010|Data|7 Comments|

How Do You Sell an Excel Dashboard?

Dmitry asks:
I face an issue that has nothing to do with Excel itself: human resistance. I showed a dashboard to my manager and he answered to me that my dashboard is too difficult for him and for top management and insisted to use simple XL-tables with lots of data. I’m a bit confused, why such innovative approach is not […]

On the Brink of the Abyss You Don’t Want to Be Pushed

There are so many bad charts published every single day that redesigning some of them would be a full time job. Many are involuntarily funny. And there are some dangerous and stupid ones.

I live in Portugal, a small country that only gets international press coverage when something goes wrong. Like now. Public debt is a serious problem, and, judging […]

No, Tufte’s Charts Are not Plain and Simple

A new data visualization research paper finds that chart junk does not harm accuracy and actually improves recall. The paper is an interesting read but, unfortunately, not for the right reasons.

I’ll discuss the paper in an upcoming post. Today I just want to comment a sentence from the introduction:
“This minimalist [Tufte’s] perspective advocates plain and simple charts that maximize […]

Want to Improve Your Excel Skills? Learn Access

What if you love Excel for all the wrong reasons? What if its flexibility creates nothing more than a glorified mess? What if you start neglecting the skills that truly matter?

Every formula in Excel is an accident waiting to happen. Sometimes, a parameter is missing, sometimes it points to the wrong cell, sometimes you use absolute references instead […]

By |March 29th, 2010|Data Visualization Tools|Comments Off on Want to Improve Your Excel Skills? Learn Access|

I’m Leaving my Day Time Job

Yes, I’m leaving in May.

Things (economy-wise) don’t look pretty, and leaving a steady job may seem unbearably self-indulgent. So, why I’m I doing this? Yes, I was unhappy, and yes, money is important too. But there’s something else.

Tom says I have a mission. Well, I don’t take myself that seriously, but I do want to find and share my […]

New! Excel 2007 Dashboard Online Tutorial

OK, I’m very please to announce that members area is now open and a new online Excel 2007 dashboard tutorial is available. Go ahead an open a free account: the first two modules are available there and more free stuff is coming soon. As promised, current users will get free access to this course.

Know more about the dashboard […]

The Wow Factor: How to Use Charts to Impress Your Boss

You are in the middle of a presentation and your worst nightmare suddenly comes true: your boss yawns, and for the right reasons too: your presentation is dull, your charts are dull dull dull and you are boring your audience to tears.

The solution? High impact charts that keep your audience glued to the screen.
What Are High Impact Charts?
High impact, […]

By |February 23rd, 2010|Context|13 Comments|

Members Area Update

Regular readers know that I’m updating my Excel dashboard tutorial and making it available online in a protected area of In exchange for their feedback, current users will get free access to the updated tutorial for Excel 2003 and also to the new Excel 2007 version.

This is something I’ll be working on throughout the year of 2010 (and […]

By |February 1st, 2010|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Members Area Update|