Last week I talked about trying new visual encodings. Experiment. Because you might find something new that works for your specific purpose and dataset.
Taking it the other direction, there are also many advantages to using well-established charts like the trusty bar chart, line chart, or scatter plot. Most of the time, you can and should take this route.
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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.