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.
- Purchase Data Visualization for Dummies (paperback edition) on Amazon.com
- Purchase Data Visualization for Dummies (Kindle edition) on Amazon.com
- Learn more about the BI Dashboard Formula
- Follow Mico Yuk on Twitter
- Follow Stephanie Diamond on Twitter
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