Support an independent FlowingData. Gain instant access to visualization courses and tutorials for insight and presentation.

Learning data visualization beyond the spreadsheet is a challenge when you first start out.

There are countless applications and services to help visualize your data, and they all seem to promise ultimate insights and beautiful graphics.

But as it turns out, the automated way is not always best. It rarely is. With automation comes a loss in flexibility and specificity, which are all the more important as you work with more data.

With membership on FlowingData, you learn to visualize your data in a way that fits your needs. It’s also the best way to support this one-man shop.

Visualization in Practice

Learn with real data and concrete examples.

The best way to learn how to visualize data is to start doing it now. Look at real data to see how visual forms work and how to negotiate between more efficient and more visually compelling chart types.

Improvement comes with experience.

And this is how I approach FlowingData courses and tutorials.

I explain how a method works, provide you the tools — which includes source code in R and d3.js — to get your stuff done, and then provide you with a wrap-up so you can apply what you learn to your own data.

The advice in the how-tos are based on my own experiences as a statistician and on projects for both web and print.

The Benefits of Membership

Here’s what you get when you join.

In a nutshell, you will improve your visualization skillset while saving time for better results.

Oh, and you also get ad-free reading for a more focused experience and a warm fuzzy feeling from supporting an independently-run FlowingData.

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Who Should Join

Where there is data, there is a need for someone to understand it and to communicate.

Analysts, Data Scientists, and Statisticians

Understanding data is what you do and the faster you can produce graphs, the sooner you can get back to analyses. And when the time comes to present your results, you’ll know what to do.


Whether you freelance or are in-house, add visualization to your repertoire to find new work or to make yourself indispensable. Click-and-drag tools can only get you so far with data.


Got a ton of data to analyze or include in your next paper? Stop fumbling around with one-off tools and learn what works.


Complement your words with visuals to tell your stories.

Data Fans

If you love data and feel like FlowingData is worth keeping around, I’d appreciate your support.


The list goes on. Data is everywhere these days, and there is a growing need to understand it. If you can visualize data, your skills will be in high demand in a lot of places.

No programming experience? Not a problem. While the resources on FlowingData are code-centric, tutorials are written with beginners in mind, and if you get stuck, there are places to ask questions.

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Who I Am

My name is Nathan Yau, and I’ve been running this place since 2007. I have a PhD in statistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. My dissertation was on making data relatable for everyone through visualization. So I use visualization in my analyses as well as for presentation to the general public.

I’ve written two best-selling books on visualization — Visualize This and Data Points — and I strive to help people understand data in both their personal and professional lives.

The more people there are who understand data, the better off we will be. So I make my work as approachable as I can, especially for those who are new to this whole data thing.

Warm Fuzzies

FlowingData is a one-man, independent site. Membership is the best way to support it, and I hope it can continue for many years to come.

Your support not only gets you access to tutorials, courses, and learning resources. It also keeps the lights on around here. It pays for the server, backups, and other unexpected business expenses.

Most importantly, your support allows me to work on FlowingData full-time. For that, I am thankful every day that this is what I get to do.

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The Tutorials

Follow step-by-step examples to make the data graphics you want for reports, presentations, and analyses.


Learn to make beautiful and useful visualizations.

There are currently just shy of 100 in-depth tutorials — with more every month — amounting to hundreds of hours of learning. Mostly in R and d3.js, the tutorials walk you through step-by-step so that you can make a countless number of data graphics for reports, presentations, and analysis. Tutorials include data to work with, source code downloads, and examples to work off of.

If you get stuck, there’s a section at the end of each tutorial to ask questions and see previous answers.

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Office Hours

Learning to visualize data is a process that doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. It takes iteration. It takes practice. You will have questions along the way. So in addition to the comment areas at the end of tutorials, which I monitor continuously, you also gain access to the forum to ask questions and get advice. I answer questions every Monday and Wednesday.

The Courses

Start with the basics. Advance.

If you don’t have a specific visualization in mind, and instead, are just eager to learn, these guided courses are for you. There are currently three.

Work with the suggested schedule or move at your own pace.

Visualization in R, From Beginner to Advanced

This is a four-week course that starts with the basics and walks through more complex methods. Create basic charts, make use of visualization packages, map geographic data, and create custom graphics to use with your own data.

Each section provides exercises to hone your skills.

Visualizing Time Series Data in R

Everything you need to know to see and show patterns over time, from basic chart types to the more advanced.

Mapping Geographic Data in R

Make maps that allow you to see spatial patterns across regions and are great for presentation and communication.

Become a Member Today

There are a ton of tools and apps to help you visualize data. There are workshops and classes. These cost thousands of dollars. There are books, guides, blogs, and podcasts that provide tips and commentary for the “best” charts. But nothing compares to actually working with data.

Flash past knowing the “rules” of visualization and into figuring out how to work within a flexible framework. You’ll spend less time (and money) pondering over charts and more time making and producing results you can see.

Support an independent site. Gain instant access to detailed courses, tutorials, and guides today.