Book Image

Visualize This

By : Nathan Yau‚ÄØ
Book Image

Visualize This

By: Nathan Yau‚ÄØ

Overview of this book

Visualize This is a guide on how to visualize and tell stories with data, providing practical design tips complemented with step-by-step tutorials. It begins with a description of the huge growth of data and visualization in industry, news, and gov't and opportunities for those who tell stories with data. Logically it moves on to actual stories in data-statistical ones with trends and human stories. the technical part comes up quickly with how to gather, parse and format data with Python, R, Excel, Google docs, and so on, and details tools to visualize data-native graphics for the Web like ActionScript, Flash libraries, PHP, JavaScript, CSS, HTML. Every chapter provides an example as well. Patterns over time and kinds of data charts are followed by proportions, chart types and examples. Next, examples and descriptions of outliers and how to show them, different kinds of maps, how to guide your readers and explain the data "in the visualization". The book ends with a value-add appendix on graphical perception.
Table of Contents (12 chapters)

Formatting Data

Different visualization tools use different data formats, and the structure you use varies by the story you want to tell. So the more flexible you are with the structure of your data, the more possibilities you can gain. Make use of data formatting applications, and couple that with a little bit of programming know-how, and you can get your data in any format you want to fit your specific needs.

The easy way of course is to find a programmer who can format and parse all of your data, but you’ll always be waiting on someone. This is especially evident during the early stages of any project where iteration and data exploration are key in designing a useful visualization. Honestly, if I were in a hiring position, I’d likely just get the person who knows how to work with data, over the one who needs help at the beginning of every project.

What I Learned about Formatting

When I first learned statistics in high school, the data was always provided in a nice,...