Data Points: Preview
This appeared at my door today. It's awesome.
I suspect those who pre-ordered Data Points (thanks!) should receive their copies soon.
In the very early stages, when I was figuring out what this book would be about, I had a few directions in mind. I eventually narrowed it down to two: (1) I could go into interaction, kind of like a progression of Visualize This; or (2) A complement to Visualize This that focused on the process of understanding data and visualizing it in a way that is meaningful.
I went with option (2).
I think option (1) would be useful, but the technology (mainly with the Web) changes a lot every day, and I still have a lot to learn in that area, so I don't think I could give the topic justice. Plus, interactive visualization tends to require relatively more code than the static charts produced in R, which I feel like grows burdensome in print. I like to work through online tutorials (where copy and paste is available) more than I like to read code in a book.
So Data Points is all about process from a non-programming point of view. Start with the data, really understand it, and then go from there. Data Points is about looking at your data from different perspectives and how it relates to real life. Then design accordingly.
There are a lot of examples (and you can get a better idea from the Amazon preview).
The e-book versions are already available, but I highly recommend the print version, if just to see the opening pictures for each chapter that my sister took :).
Pre-order the book here. More to come soon.