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Anyone can make a chart. Load a dataset into some spreadsheet software, and there you go.

But not everyone can make great charts that are readable, usable, and beautiful. How do you get from boring defaults to insightful data graphics? What are the steps?

Great charts require both technical know-how and thoughtful design.

I’ve made the process of advancing past defaults easier for you with a comprehensive collection of visualization tutorials, courses, and guides all in one place.

The Benefits

Here is what you get with membership.

 

…the inspiration I needed to start learning to code with a view to building more sophisticated and engaging data visualisations.
Paul Campbell

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. Make charts. Work with real data. Get expert guidance.

With membership:

  • Make great charts right away.
  • Look at real data.
  • Gain technical know-how and design skills required to visualize your data in a way that is both useful and beautiful.
  • Experiment with how visual forms work.
  • Learn how to negotiate between more efficient and more visually compelling chart types.
  • Learn about how the charts get made instead of relying on templates.
  • Download source code to apply to your own datasets.
  • Support an independent site.
  • Build the visualization skills that everyone with data wants. Become indispensable.

I teach a class on data visualization, and FlowingData has been a source of inspiration and provocative examples for me and my students. Nathan Yau creates discussion generating graphs, starts conversations about other noteworthy data and graphing efforts, and provides useful insights on coding and workflow.
Eric Lawrence

Make Any Chart

Go beyond defaults with step-by-step tutorials.

There are over a hundred step-by-step tutorials — with more every month — amounting to hundreds of hours of learning.

The tutorials — covering a range of basic, to advanced, to my own visualization projects — walk you through step-by-step so that you can make data graphics for reports, presentations, and analysis.

We don’t just cover the mechanics of encoding data into shapes and colors. You will also learn how to design data graphics that speak to different audiences. You’ll learn how to make any chart. You’ll learn how to pick the right chart for your data and purpose. You’ll learn the steps to get from raw data to finished graphic.

Tutorials include datasets, source code downloads, and examples to work with.

Sample of the Tutorials

  • Small Multiples
  • Slopegraph
  • Heatmap
  • Calendar Heatmap
  • Beeswarm Chart
  • Frequency Trails
  • Network Diagrams
  • Dot Density Map
  • Voronoi Diagram
  • Square Pie Chart
  • Difference Chart
  • Horizon Graph
  • Working with Shapefiles
  • Unit Chart
  • Chord Diagram
  • Custom Charts
  • Making More Readable Charts
  • Choropleth Map
  • Animated Visualization
  • Much more…

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

It’s not just how to press buttons or to copy and paste code. Instead, you learn how chart types and visual encodings work so that you can make any chart. Customize to your needs and apply in your own projects.

Even if you don’t have a specific chart in mind now, the ever-growing tutorials collection serves as a great reference.

I’m a frequent user of online classes and really value my FlowingData membership.
Michel Guillet

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In-depth Guidance

Learn the basics and then advance with the courses, at your pace.

If you don’t have a specific visualization in mind, and instead are eager to learn it all, membership provides full access to three self-guided courses. Work with the suggested schedule or move at your own pace.

Visualization in R, From Beginner to Advanced

Create basic charts, make use of visualization packages, map geographic data, and create custom graphics to use with your own data.


Mapping Geographic Data in R

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


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.

The Process

Get the members-only newsletter covering the practical side of visualizing data.

Stay up-to-date with visualization tools, what’s new in the field, and learn how experts design data graphics.

It’s worthwhile to learn the principles behind visualization, but in practice, there are always tradeoffs when you design data graphics. The rules that you read in books usually work more like suggestions. The Process is a weekly newsletter for FlowingData members that looks more closely at how to apply what we know about visualization in your everyday work.

Your Guide

Hi. My name is Nathan Yau. I’ll guide you through the process of visualizing data.

I have a PhD in Statistics, with a focus on visualization for presenting data to non-professionals. I’ve been visualizing data for over a decade, and I believe that visualization is the best way to communicate data to everyone, regardless of background. I wrote two bestselling books on the topic.

I use charts for analysis, for reports and presentations, and for communication to a wide audience. My work leans towards practical but has also reached millions of people.

I was a winner of a FastCompany Innovation by Design Award for Graphic Design & Data Visualization; I’ve won Information is Beautiful awards; and I was featured in The Best American Infographics. I’ve worked as a researcher and for mainstream publications.

My books and tutorials on visualization are based on these experiences and have helped thousands advance past the defaults.

I’d be honored to be your guide.

What Others Say

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.
Andrew Sánchez Meador

The tutorials are very helpful to move from “Oooo, cool!” to how to actually DO the cool.
Steve Thomas

…one of the finest resources on visualization…
Saurab Nair

…I wish I had time to read it all.
Zac Knaus

As a student who is just getting into the game of visualization (and plans to continue), it has been very helpful to be able to have a closer look behind the scenes.
Philip Nguyen

I think of your weekly emails as lessons that I actually take notes on every week and apply the knowledge I learn to my actual job as a data analyst… The membership fee is more than worth it for the information and education you get…
Vanessa Newton

We generate a lot of data (a large forensic pathology practice), and have found [FD membership] very useful to explain the public health and nosological problems.
Carl Schmidt

I love being a member of FlowingData because you just can’t beat Nathan’s approachable and easy-to-follow tutorials – they’ve saved me so much time. Plus, he always has his finger on the pulse of the data viz community so having access to all of his posts and the weekly newsletter is a MUST for me!”
Alli Torban

I’ve used skills from the visualizations both for internal tools at work, as well as for public facing visualizations.
Jared Wilber

 

Better than Defaults

Support an independent site. Make great charts. Cancel anytime.

Questions and Answers

Do I need to know how to code first?

Nope. Tutorials are self-encapsulated and take you through step-by-step. While some tutorials are more advanced and it can help to have some experience, I try to make the topics approachable for various backgrounds. You can also work through the courses first, which assume minimal coding experience.
 

How is this different from your books?

Data Points and Visualize This provide overviews of visualization, whereas tutorials on FlowingData are more specific and code-centric. The collection of tutorials and courses is also constantly growing. If you read the books (thanks!) and are ready to make all the charts, the tutorials and courses will get you there.
 

Is there a minimum subscription length?

No. Membership auto-renews monthly/yearly, but you can cancel anytime via your profile.
 

Why memberships?

FlowingData is completely member-supported and ad-free. Your support as a member means FlowingData keeps the lights on.
 

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