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Members Area Update

Regular readers know that I’m updating my Excel dashboard tutorial and making it available online in a protected area of excelcharts.com. 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 […]

Don’t Try to Be Funny (Grumpy Old Man’s Guide to Making Charts)

Did you know that turkey consumption soared after the launch of Microsoft Windows 1.0? And did you know that this growth trajectory lasted until Windows 3.0? Coincidence? I don’t think so…

I find this amusing. Sorry.

By the way, don’t try to be funny when making charts. Most of the time you’ll fail, specially if you use clip art, kitten pictures […]

By |January 28th, 2010|Design|1 Comment|

Stephen Few, Data Visualization, Eye Candy and the Pie

Stephen Few left a comment in my post “Is Data Visualization Useful? You’ll Have to Prove it”. We all have much to learn with Steve, so instead of leaving the discussion buried in an old post, I thought it would be interesting to make it more visible. Please read the comment then come here and join the discussion. Here […]

By |January 11th, 2010|Context|14 Comments|

The Fish and The Fishing Rod: Core Skills for the Data Visualization Worker

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day.
Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.
 

Here is a good example of give-a-fish versus teach-to-fish: if you search for “excel dashboard” you’ll get at the top of the search results my own Excel dashboard tutorial and Charley Kyd’s Excel dashboard reports. These are […]

By |January 4th, 2010|Context|7 Comments|

How Can I Help You? My Plans for 2010

Big changes in this blog for 2010! First, since slightly more people search for “Excel charts” than for “Jorge Camoes” I decided to accept reality and move the blog to a new domain name, from charts.jorgecamoes.com to www.excelcharts.com/blog/. Also, the blog will be hosted on a more reliable host, and will get a serious face-lift.
excelcharts.com: Excel Charts for the […]

An Holiday Gift for You: Excel Dashboards Online Tutorial

Do you want to know how to create an advanced Excel dashboard? Do you want to learn it online? Then I have great news for you: I’ve been working on a web-based version of my Excel dashboard tutorial and it will be available soon. Better yet, it will be available for free for all current users.

Here’s the deal: get […]

Charts Are for Sissies (Grumpy Old Man’s Guide to Charts)

Making a chart is so simple that even a chimpanzee can be trained to do it – press F11 and get the banana (that would explain the poor quality of many business charts and presentations – and the raising banana consumption).

To prove that they are better than chimpanzees at making charts, humans invented the eye-candy and its epitome, the […]

By |December 8th, 2009|Context|5 Comments|

Help me Find International Data Visualization Blogs

We all love Edward Tufte (perhaps too much), but if you want a more consistent and articulate data visualization theory you must read the French cartographer Jacques Bertin.

And did you know that one of the best (and remarkably unknown) data visualization experts is Rolf Hichert, from Germany? Unfortunately he isn’t eager to share his ideas in English (and if you […]

Don't Try to Be Memorable (Grumpy Old Man's Guide to Making Charts)

I often read that you should make your charts “memorable”. Well, I’m not sure if this is a good advice, specially when people use “memorable” and “professional-looking” in the same sentence.

It’s OK if you are a graphic designer and you want to spend some time crafting an unique chart that draws the attention of the casual reader. For the […]

By |November 25th, 2009|Design|0 Comments|

Don't Try to Be Creative (Grumpy Old Man's Guide to Making Charts)

Creativity is such a positive quality that it is almost painful to argue that you shouldn’t try to be creative when making charts. But you shouldn’t. Really.

If you are too creative and the users can’t understand the chart in a few seconds they will dismiss it as useless. If you break basic conventions (time series in a horizontal axis, […]

By |November 24th, 2009|Design|1 Comment|