Data Visualization for Dummies

A useful and tool-agnostic guide targeted primarily at business users.

Data Visualization for Dummies by Stephanie Diamond and Mico Yuk

Data Visualization for Dummies by Mico Yuk and Stephanie Diamond is a 256-page guide from Wiley on the hot topic of data visualization (Wiley, ISBN 978-1118502891). Co-author Mico Yuk is well-known in SAP circles as the creator of the Everything Xcelsius web site and most recently the BI Dashboard Formula— the latter receiving significant coverage in this book. Mico and her co-author Stephanie Diamond have created a useful and tool-agnostic guide targeted primarily at business users, not technicians, interested in creating effective visualizations with data.

I have not attended a BI Dashboard Formula workshop, so I cannot offer a perspective on the materials presented here versus what is used during the workshop. Because I’m a technician and not a business user, I was immediately attracted to two resources that can be downloaded from the book’s companion web site. The first is a template for the BI Dashboard Formula Storyboard, which helps organize the content obtained from dashboard scoping sessions. The second is a Data Visualization Evaluation Form that will help organizations peer-review existing dashboards using over twenty criteria organized into seven categories. The book explains in detail how to use both of these resources for project-based work.

Inexperienced visualization designers will appreciate the “what not to do” voice-of-experience aspects of the book just as much as the “what to do” aspects. And throughout the book there are lots of references to web sites and other books that will be useful on the data visualization journey. More experienced designers may already have a bookshelf full of titles from other voices like Stephen Few and Edward Tufte. But even they will find help here if their organization struggles with the “human” side of  visualizing data.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Author: Dallas Marks

I am a business intelligence architect, author, and trainer. I help organizations harness the power of analytics, primarily with SAP BusinessObjects products. An active blogger, SAP Mentor and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting about business intelligence.

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