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Data Visualization Library

I’ve been doing a lot of teaching and training on data visualization and presentation techniques lately. I’ve been working with folks at work, showing them best practices, some Excel tricks, and different tools and techniques. I’ve been doing a lot more client work recently and am gearing up for some public workshops in the early spring.…

4 charts. Top left: column chart with nonzero baseline; bottom-right: column chart w zero baseline; top-right: line chart with nonzero baseline; bottom-right: line chart with zero baseline

Talking Zero Baselines

I took a quick trip to San Francisco early this week and stopped by to see my friend Cole Nussbaumer (Storytellingwithdata.com). As it does every once and a while, the topic of whether to crop your graph’s baseline to something other than zero popped up last week. Instead of writing a blog post, I thought…

3D pie chart from World Economic Forum

Announcing the Remakes Page

New year, new ideas. This year, I’m launching a “Remakes” page to PolicyViz, which will serve as an ongoing repository for data visualizations that I think are in need a makeover. I’ll regularly post simple graphs and data visualizations that I think violate some basic principle (yes, pie charts, I’m looking at you), clearly misrepresent data,…

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Raising the standards of data journalism

This post originally appeared on the Urban Institute’s MetroTrends blog. Looking back, 2014 may be known as the Year of Data-Driven Journalism. Journalists’ use of more and better data will probably, ultimately lead to better stories and a better understanding of important issues, but there are some growing pains (for example, here, here, and here).…

FinalGraph

Custom Y-Axis Labels in Excel

I was at a conference earlier this fall and someone asked me whether it’s possible to create an Excel chart where only the first (top) y-axis label has a percentage sign format while the others were just number labels. In other words, instead of adding percentage signs to every y-axis label or putting the phrase…

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Visualized 2014 Roundup

Videos from the 2014 Visualized conference in New York City were posted late last week. Shortly after the conference last January, I wrote 8 separate posts summarizing my observations about data, storytelling, aesthetics, and other aspects of data visualization and presentation. In case you missed those posts, I’ve compiled them together below. Visualized Part 1:…

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Directly Labeling Excel Charts

My friend Stephanie Evergreen–who co-hosts the awesome Rad Presenters Podcast with me–published a post last week about labeling charts in Excel. In it, she offered some guidance about how to get rid of your default legends and directly label your charts in Excel. Stephanie’s post is consistent with a general strategy I use and refer to as…

Graphic Continuum desktop

The Graphic Continuum – Desktop Version

In early September, Severino Ribecca and I released a poster-sized version of The Graphic Continuum, a collection of the wide array of visualization types. In it, we plotted over 80 different graphics across six main categories: Distribution, Time, Comparing Categories, Geospatial, Part-to-Whole, and Relationships. The Graphic Continuum does not include every type of graphic, nor does…

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Table > Graphics

Sometimes a table is preferred to a graphic. A recent blog post from the Brookings Institution included a reprint of this graphic from Martin Neil Baily (Brookings) and Aaron David Klein (Bipartisan Policy Center). The graph is taken from a recent conference presentation in which the authors examine the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street…