Guides

Tips and suggestions for working with and designing with data.

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn't break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Horizon Graphs, with a Food Pricing Example

The rarely used chart type for time series data is actually quite nice, once you get the hang of it. Although it does have its limitations.

How to Make Government Data Sites Better

Accessing government data from the source is frustrating. If you’ve done it, or…

Getting started with visualization after getting started with visualization

Here's where to go next once you've covered the basics of visualization. When it's time to actually start making things.

Flexible data

Data is an abstraction of something that happened in the real world. How…

A Survival Guide to Starting and Finishing a PhD

Tips on making it through, what I would tell my previous self going in, and advice on taking advantage of the unique opportunity that is graduate school.

Show Me Something Good

Visualization is a great way to explain and describe data to people who…

Resources for Getting Started with R

R, the open source statistical software environment, is powerful but can be a…

On low-quality infographics

This has been sitting in my drafts folder for a few months. Figured…

The Don’ts of Infographic Design

Smashing Magazine offers advice on the dos and don'ts of infographic design, but they forgot to include the former. It's as if I wrote a fake post and someone mistook it for a serious guide.

5 misconceptions about visualization

Last month, I had the pleasure of spending a week at the Census…

Why learning code for data is worthwhile

There are lots of tools that have come out in the past couple…

Graph Design Rule #2: Explain your encodings

This is part two in a seven-part series on basic rules for graph…

Graph Design Rule #1: Check the data

Now that we’ve covered the 7 basic rules to graph design, it’s time…

7 Basic Rules for Making Charts and Graphs

Charts and graphs have found their way into news, presentations, and comics, with…

The Boom of Big Infographics

Big information graphics have been around for a long time. They’ve come in…

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I'm a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I've learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

11 Ways to Visualize Changes Over Time – A Guide

Deal with data? No doubt you've come across the time-based variety. This is a guide to help you figure out what type of visualization to use to see that stuff.

9 Ways to Visualize Proportions – A Guide

With all the visualization options out there, it can be hard to figure…

30 Resources to Find the Data You Need

Let’s say you have this idea for a visualization or application, or you’re…