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Let Your Data Speak.

Join us in the pursuit of effective data communication. Explore tutorials, learn best practices, and review graph remakes; listen to top minds in the fields of data, data visualization, and presentation skills on The PolicyViz Podcast; and interact with the community in HelpMeViz.

Books

My latest book details essential strategies to create more effective data visualizations. I walk readers through the steps of creating better graphs and how to move beyond the simple line, bar, and pie charts. Through more than five hundred examples, I demonstrate the do’s and don’ts of data visualization, the principles of visual perception, and how to make subjective style decisions around a chart’s design. I survey more than eighty visualization types, from histograms to horizon charts, ridgeline plots to choropleth maps, and explain how each has its place in the visual toolkit.

It might seem intimidating, but everyone can learn how to create compelling, effective data visualizations. This book will guide you as you define your audience and goals, choose the graph that best fits for your data, and clearly communicate your message.

Data Visualization in Excel

By: Jonathan Schwabish
  • This is the first book available on the market that shows people how to create more advanced data visualizations in the Excel software tool. It provides step-by-step instructions and downloadable Excel files, that readers can use to expand how they use Excel and communicate their data to their audiences.
  • Through how-to tutorials for more than 20 advanced graph types, readers will move beyond the standard area, bar, line, and pie charts to heatmaps, waffle charts, dot plots, slope charts, cycle plots, and more.
  • Visit the CRC Press website to download accompanying, editable Excel files.

Better Data Visualizations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks

By: Jonathan Schwabish
  • Learn about principles of visual perception and data visualization best practices.
  • Expand your graphic literacy by learning about more than 80 different visualization types
  • Learn how to define your audience and goals, and choose the chart, graph, or diagram that best fits for your data.

Elevate the Debate: A Multilayered Guide to Communicating Your Research

By: Jonathan Schwabish
  • This book helps researchers, analysts, and scholars to use traditional and digital media environments to their advantage.
  • Real-world guide helps readers present their data-driven research with greater clarity, coherence, and impact.
  • An array of practical strategies and proven techniques enables readers to make their research accessible to diverse audiences, form engaging narratives, and design and implement meaningful outreach plans.

Podcasts

Episode #265: Nancy Organ

Episode #265: Nancy Organ

Welcome to the Season 10 finale of the PolicyViz Podcast. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this podcast for 10 years! I’m truly grateful to all my guests and all my listeners who have been tuning in and, hopefully, have…

Episode #264: Giorgia Lupi

Episode #264: Giorgia Lupi

Giorgia Lupi joins the show to discuss her work in data visualization, her journey from Accurat studios to Pentagram, and how she takes a human-centric perspective to working with and communicating data. Giorgia shares her experience with long COVID, explaining…

Episode #263: Nicole Lachenmeier and Darjan Hil

Episode #263: Nicole Lachenmeier and Darjan Hil

Nicole Lachenmeier and Darjan Hil’s new book, Visualizing Complexity: Modular Information Design Handbook, focuses on deconstructing data encodings into fundamental elements to create effective visualizations. They take an exciting and hands-on approach to data visualization design for their own work…

Episode #262: Nathan Yau

Episode #262: Nathan Yau

Nathan Yau’s Flowing Data website was one of the first data visualization websites I discovered in my own data journey. With his new book, Visualize This, now out, I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk with Nathan…

Workshops

I offer virtual and on-site half-, full-, and multi-day workshops in data visualization, presentation skills, and data visualization tools including Excel, PowerBI, R, and Tableau. Workshop attendees will expand their graphic literacy and learn best practices to create more effective graphs and data visualizations. They will also gain knowledge about what types of visualizations work best for their audience and why. I will also work with your current visualization projects and suggest redesigns that will illustrate what better data visualization means for you and your content.

I bring my experience as a Ph.D. economist to your data. We will not only explore how to communicate your work but can also explore the statistical underpinnings–the theoretic. Beyond an ordinary workshop, I also offer project-specific consulting services to help you and your teamwork better with your data and create more effective graphs, interactive visualizations, infographics, and more.

Public Workshops

Public Workshops

Check out my public data visualization and presentation workshops, held around the world at various times during the year! More details on this page.

Virtual Webinars

Many of my standard workshop and speaking topics can be easily adapted to a webinar format. Webinars are typically limited to 60- to 90-minutes and include a combination of polls, chats, and interactive exercises.

Read more

Core Principles of Data Visualization

The study of data visualization—the visual representation of data—plays a crucial role in the work of researchers and analysts. Organizations tasked with producing, releasing, and analyzing large amounts of data can more effectively analyze and communicate their work by understanding how to better visualize their data. Often, however, visualizing results comes as a last-second addition to the output and secondary to the analysis, which ultimately limits the effective relay of information.

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Introduction to Presentation Design and Techniques

Most people who work with data approach the task of presenting analysis by converting a written document into slides. Unfortunately, the result is often a text-heavy presentation saddled with bullet points, stock images, and graphs too complex for an audience to decipher―much less understand.

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Effective Data Communication in Excel

In this hands-on workshop, we explore how to expand the data visualization capacities of the Microsoft Excel software tool. Though there are more and more tools available to analyze and visualize data, Excel continues to be the leader in the field, used by millions around the world every day.

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Speaking Topics

I would love to speak at your event. My customizable presentations aim to help you and your teams process, visualize, present, and communicate your data. Most presentations are about 40 minutes with additional time reserved for Q&A and discussion.

I also offer shorter presentations, workshops; breakout sessions; and panel presentations. I can tailor my presentations and workshops to the needs of your organization and event. I am flexible in working with your presentation equipment and set-up; please contact me to discuss the details. I am also available for virtual presentations, workshops, and webinars–all are designed with the restrictions technology brings and the comfort of the audience in mind.

Please see below for more information about the topics I can cover for your organization, or contact me to discuss your speaking needs. My Portfolio includes some recent presentations and some videos to see me in action.

TEDx - Jonathan Schwabish

Data Visualization Done Differently

The data visualization field combines data analysis, graphic design, journalism, and statistics and aims to help analysts in a variety of fields provide their audience with greater insights into their research or products. In this presentation, I lay the groundwork for how to use data visualization to more effectively communicate.

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Better Data Communication

A first step to improving the way you communicate data and analysis is to have some basic understanding of best practices and strategies. In this talk, I lay out three principles for better data visualization

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Better Presentations

When faced with the prospect of giving a presentation, researchers and analysts often simply convert their reports to slides: text is converted to bullets, and figures and tables are simply copied and pasted. The problem with that approach is that presentations are a fundamentally different form of communication than are reports or journal articles.

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Data Currency — Unlocking Value With Visualization

Most organizations recognize the innate value of data, and are beginning to trade in its powerful currency. But this has not wholly erased the challenges data and analytics leaders face when trying to illustrate how data can unlock potential business value. Enter data visualization.

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Once Upon a Time: From Data to Stories

The word “stories” has become synonymous with visualizing and presenting data. But contrary to what most people actually mean, most of us do not tell stories when we visualize data. In this talk, I investigate how we define storytelling and contrast it with a definition of storytelling to demonstrate how most of us are not really telling stories with data.

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Details and Logistics

My presentations are usually 35-45 minutes with additional time for Q&A and discussion. I also offer shorter presentations, half-­, full-­, and multi-­day workshops; breakout sessions; and panel presentations. I often tailor my presentations to the needs of your organization and event. I am flexible in working with your presentation equipment and set-up; please contact me to discuss the details.

Past Speaking Events

I have enjoyed presenting to many audiences on each of these topics. Please take a look at a few examples from my Portfolio or see Testimonials.

Consulting Services

I can help you create effective and stunning data visualizations, reports, and slide decks. I leverage my expertise in data visualization and presentation skills to help you communicate your data in better ways. With my background in economics, I can help explore your data to help pull out insights and discoveries, be it through descriptive statistics or more complicated modeling. I have worked with people and organizations across multiple sectors to help them create visualization products and presentation slide decks that will help you and your reader or audience find insights and make discoveries.

My Expertise

Data Visualization

Data Visualization

Create better, more effective graphs, charts, and tables.

Infographics

Infographics

Help develop and build economic models to reach solutions and gain insights.

Reports

Reports

Let me help you develop, lay out, and design your next paper, report, issue brief, or blog post.

Presentation Slides

Presentation Slides

I can help you and your teams create better, more effective presentation slides.

Jonathan Schwabish

About the Founder

Jonathan Schwabish

My name is Jonathan Schwabish. I’m an economist by training, but over the last 10 years, I’ve worked hard to communicate my research in better ways and to help others do the same. Here on my site, I share blog posts and tutorials, the popular PolicyViz Podcast, and my collaboration site HelpMeViz. Through each of these, I am interested in helping others do a better job communicating their data. I also offer teaching, speaking, and consulting services to reach beyond what I can offer on my website.

Testimonials

I have been remiss in not thanking you for the terrific workshop you gave for Peterson last week. I’ve been drawing graphs of economic data for 45 years, and yet still feel that I learned a lot from your session. I was particularly impressed that — in an era when it’s so easy to let one’s attention wander in a virtual setting, you held mine for four hours. Whenever I see a great graph in the future, I’ll think of you, and some of the principles you laid out. 

David Wilcox

Peterson Institute for International Economics

Your presentation was terrific! I heard many favorable comments about your lecture, and I am confident that it will attract a substantial audience when we post it on the NBER website later this summer. I really appreciate the time and energy that you devoted to preparing your lecture.

James Poterba

James Poterba

Mitsui Professor of Economics at MIT and the President of the National Bureau of Economic Research

Jon’s workshop was really good, honestly! I consider myself quite advanced on the topic and have attended many “Visualization” workshops in the past that did not teach me much. This one really allowed me to raise my level and I will be using those templates and scripts very soon!

Yves Froude

The World Bank

The workshop was perfect. I loved the workshop aspect and the comprehensive educational approach to get us to gain the understanding to then be able to practice.

Andrea Mauro

Prologis

I speak for all of my colleagues here at the U.S. Department of State in expressing our gratitude to you for a most engaging presentation at our agency’s monthly Evaluation Community of Practice meeting.  Before and after the presentation, the staff was excited about getting insights on the power of data visualization in both processing and presenting data, such as evaluation information, to various stakeholders.  We very much appreciate you giving us your time and insights, as well as links to additional resources and information.  The use of data visualization techniques is a burgeoning field in federal agencies, so your remarks and accompanying materials will help move us further along the continuum of presenting data in visually appealing and informative ways.

Stephanie Cabell

Program Analyst Bureau of Budget and Planning State Department

Featured Products

Data Visualization Catalog

Data Visualization Catalog

My collection of nearly 1,000 graphs, charts, tables, and diagrams I use as inspiration in my own work and when I teach data visualization. These real examples are helpful in a variety of ways: to demonstrate the wide variety of graphic types; to show variations in typography, color, tool, platform, and design; and to discuss how to implement perceptual rules to draw and direct attention. This interactive table enables you to sort, filter, search, and download different visualizations to help you on your way to being a better data communicator.

Public Workshops

Workshops

Learn more about the various training workshops I offer, from core principles of data visualization and presentation skills to design to different tools like Excel, R, and Tableau. All of the workshops can be customized for in-person or online, time, and content specific to your team and organization.

Bringing Data to Life

Creating data visualizations can be a lonely business. You sit behind your desk working with code, design tools, or other programs to pull together a visualization you hope will elicit insight and help people make discoveries. But working at the computer all the time can also make us forget that people live in a physical world and that we can use that physical world to engage them in different and exciting ways. Visit this post to see an updated set of physical data visualization projects that you can use in your own work.

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