Most people interested in visualization have made a chart with Microsoft Excel. For your basic charts, it’s really easy, and it works well for what it was intended for. You have a spreadsheet of data, highlight the columns of interest, and then click a few buttons to spit out a chart. Maybe you customize it a little bit by changing colors or adding a useful title.
The process of visualizing data with methods beyond the standard chart types can be more challenging at times.
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FlowingData is a never-ending source of information, inspiration and instruction in data, visualization and design and Nathan Yau’s approach to exploring these subjects is both technical and familiar, somewhat similar to a discussion of a shared obsession over beers with a friend.
The tutorials are very helpful to move from "Oooo, cool!" to how to actually DO the cool.
…the inspiration I needed to start learning to code with a view to building more sophisticated and engaging data visualisations.