Try to Avoid Color Legends

By |2021-04-04T19:04:33+00:00April 4th, 2021|General Discussions, Makeovers|

Let me show you a few techniques that will allow you to ditch color legends and in so doing make it easier for your audience to understand the charts you create. Direct Labeling Lines Here’s a “before” picture of a simple line chart with a color legend. Figure 1 - Line chart with color legend. [...]

Screaming Cats, Scaredy-Cats, and TURDs

By |2021-01-18T15:24:11+00:00January 18th, 2021|Business Visualizations, General Discussions, Makeovers|

January 18, 2021 Some thoughts about critique in data visualization. Background For the past 18 months I’ve been working on a new book (more on this in a moment). Last September, I asked some colleagues to review selected chapters. I asked everybody to review the preface, which included this passage: My friend Jonathan Schwabish provided [...]

Be careful what you amplify

By |2020-08-20T01:02:26+00:00July 19th, 2020|Business Visualizations, General Discussions, Health and Social Issues, Makeovers|

Be careful what you amplify And some thoughts on color palettes / color ramps Background This tweet got a lot of attention recently (see https://twitter.com/andishehnouraee/status/1284237474831761408?s=20) Figure 1 -- Tweet suggesting that Georgia is trying to hide something. While I did not retweet it, I did blindly chime in that this looked like gross incompetence, [...]

Should you use dashboards to tell stories or to find stories?

By |2020-04-29T17:27:30+00:00April 29th, 2020|Business Visualizations, General Discussions, Makeovers|

Should you use dashboards to tell stories or to find stories? You can’t tell a good story if you don’t understand the data, and a good dashboard will help you understand the data, faster. My thanks to Adam McCann, Athan Mavrantonis, Andy Cotgreave, and Jeffrey Shaffer for reviewing and providing feedback. Why do we [...]

DON’T center, right-align, or justify text on a dashboard

By |2020-02-15T20:56:49+00:00December 3rd, 2019|Business Visualizations, General Discussions, Makeovers|

Or at least have a very good reason for doing so. Note: My observations are for dashboards in languages where one reads from left to right. If you create dashboards in Aramaic, Arabic, Hebrew, Urdu, etc., just reverse everything. IMPORTANT: Since posting I've received lots of feedback on this. I want to clarify that [...]

More about Population Pyramids (and why this community is amazing)

By |2020-02-15T21:23:37+00:00February 6th, 2019|Business Visualizations, General Discussions, Makeovers|

February 6, 2019 My earlier post on why I don’t like Population Pyramids generated a lot of communication on twitter and this communication lead to what I think is an elegant and analytically solid offering from Chris Love.  His contribution was in the result of iterating and collaborating with several people, including Dorian Banutoiu [...]

Good enough, good enough, good enough, and *not* good enough

By |2020-02-15T21:49:08+00:00January 21st, 2019|Business Visualizations, General Discussions, Makeovers|

Some thoughts on why pursuing the perfect chart is not a great use of your time January 22, 2019 Background During Chart Chat (Round Two) I discussed my affection for the lollipop chart and why I thought it was an acceptable alternative to the bar chart. My friend and colleague, Chris Love, was watching [...]