DataViz Books

Alberto Cairo, The Functional Art

Regardless of the kind of data you’re working with–business, science, politics, sports, or even your own personal finances–this book will show you how to use statistical charts, maps, and explanation diagrams to spot the stories in the data and learn new things from it. You’ll also get to peek into the creative process of some of the world’s most talented designers and visual journalists.

Alberto Cairo, The Truthful Art

In this follow-up to The Functional Art, Cairo explains how to work with data, discover the stories hidden within, and share those stories with the world in the form of charts, maps, and infographics. The Truthful Art explains the role infographics and data visualization play in our world; how to become a better critical thinker; and basic principles of data and scientific reasoning.

Jorge Camoes, Data at Work

Data at Work was written with the spreadsheet user in mind. It will teach you how to think about and organize data in ways that directly relate to your work, using the skills you already have. In other words, you don’t need to be a graphic designer to create functional, elegant charts: this book will show you how. Although all of the examples in this book were created in Microsoft Excel, this is not a book about how to use Excel.

Stephen Few, Now You See It

In this book, Few teaches simple, practical means to explore and analyze quantitative data, techniques that rely primarily on using your eyes. This book features graphical techniques that can be applied to a broad range of software tools, including Microsoft Excel, because so many people have nothing else, but also more powerful visual analysis tools that can dramatically extend your analytical reach.

Stephen Few, Show Me the Numbers

Even the best information is useless, however, if its story is poorly told. This problem exists because almost no one has ever been trained to design tables and graphs for effective and efficient communication. Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten is a practical and comprehensive guide to table and graph design.

Andy Kirk, Data Visualisation: A Handbook for Data Driven Design

This book is the starting point in learning the process and skills of data visualization, teaching the concepts and skills of how to present data and inspiring effective visual design. Learn a flexible step-by-step journey that equips you to achieve great data visualization and find a curated collection of classic and contemporary examples that give illustrations of good and bad practice.

Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, Storytelling with Data

Storytelling with Data teaches you the fundamentals of data visualization and how to communicate effectively with data. The lessons in this book are grounded in theory, but made accessible through numerous real-world examples, ready for immediate application to your next graph or presentation.

Isabel Meirelles, Design for Information

The visualization process is grounded in principles and methodologies of design, cognition, perception, and human-computer-interaction that are combined to one’s personal knowledge and creative experiences. Design for Information critically examines other design solutions to help you gain a larger understanding of how to solve specific problems.

Nathalie Riche et al, Data-Driven Storytelling

This book presents an accessible introduction to data-driven storytelling. Resulting from unique discussions between data visualization researchers and data journalists, it offers an integrated definition of the topic, presents vivid examples and patterns for data storytelling, and calls out key challenges and new opportunities for researchers and practitioners.

Naomi Robbins, Creating More Effective Graphs

A succinct guide to creating effective graphs, Robbins’ Creating More Effective Graphs gives you the basic knowledge and techniques required to choose and create appropriate graphs for a broad range of applications. Using real-world examples everyone can relate to, the author highlights some of today’s most effective methods.

Edward Tufte, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis.

Dona Wong, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics

This book is organized in a series of mini-workshops backed up with illustrated examples to show you how to choose the best chart that fits your data; find the most effective way to communicate with decision makers when you have five minutes of their time; how to use color effectively; and how to make a graphic “colorful” even if only black and white are available.

Nathan Yau, Visualize This

This book uses step-by-step tutorials to show you how to visualize and tell stories with data. He explains how to gather, parse, and format data and then design high quality graphics that help you explore and present patterns, outliers, and relationships.

Disclosure: Descriptions are derived from those on