FlowingData book in the works

You read that right. There’s going to be a FlowingData book, published by the fine folks at Wiley. With all the books out there about design methods and best type of graph to do this and that, I thought it was time for a guide on how to actually put all that into practice.

When I first started getting into data graphics, I read all the books I could about good design with data. But when it came time to actually make something, I was lost. I had no clue how to use the software that was available to me. So all that other stuff I read was pretty worthless, just sitting there in my brain. This book will help you with that part.

Think lots of tutorials that take you from start to finish and teach you not just the what, but also the how.

More updates to come.


  • I’d love to see you include a section on how to use Excel to greater benefit. Most of the stuff I see here is related to open source web based programs, and tuned toward web publishing. There are a lot of us who need to provide graphics for an in-house audience using excel and graphics pasted into Power-Point (yes as awful as that reality is), rather than for the public via the web.

    Thanks for what you do. Innumeracy among my clients and my colleagues is a constant threat, and I’ve used some of your posts here as teaching material. I’ve become an addict.

    • @Scott It’ll definitely focus on production-level graphics for presentation and publication. Excel can do some good stuff, and there will be some in the book, but I will also put a lot of energy into weaning people off of it. It’s not as hard as you might think :).

  • I’m looking forward too.

  • This is an excellent idea. I look forward to reading!

    Off-topic: it would be nice to be able to use an OpenID to comment over the twitbookfyre options.

    • @aTron Thanks!

      I agree about the OpenID. LiveFyre is still in beta, so there are still a lot of details to work on, but I’m sure it’s on the todo list somewhere. For now, I’m just seeing how this little experiment goes.

    • @aTron @Flowingdata Jordan from Livefyre here. OpenID is definitely in the dev timeline! Since we’re in beta, we’re actively listening to both commenter and site owner feedback to plan feature dev. Tons of cool stuff is already on the way. We’re really excited that Nathan is giving Livefyre a go because we can’t wait to hear feedback from the community here. We’ve all been huge fans for a while, so this is exciting for us :)

  • This sounds great, I can’t wait until it comes out! Are we going to get previews in the form of blog posts?

  • Hopefully it will be as beautifully designed as it is insightful and educational. Looking forward to seeing this come to fruition.

  • I’m a regular reader of your blog. I’d like to thank you for all the insightful posts here. I’m actually starting to play with some data ;)
    I’m looking forward to seeing your book, and I’m confident it’ll be as great as your blog.

    Ayoub from Paris

  • can’t wait!

  • Nathan, great to hear. What software / languages will the book use? You already mentioned the weaning off Excel, but what tools will be the focus?

  • I’m in the middle of a project at work and was wondering if there are specific differences in designing qualitative patterns for data visualization, versus quantitative. That is, how can I visualize qualitative data patterns?

  • A profession-oriented course for my master’s was one which addressed how to communicate with people who aren’t in our field. A for effort. The prof gave us a handout of horribly designed graphics graphic information. It was nice having someone actually explain WHY it was stupid. I will likely recommend this to her for future courses. …. I have already recommended your site.

  • This book can seriously not come out fast enough for me! As a graphic designer just recently in a new data viz position I can use all the information I can get my hands on. (and I’ve already have been relying heavily on your blog) I’m a huge fan of your work