Charting Success: Nick Desbarats’ Practical Approach to Data Visualization  image
S10 E259 · The PolicyViz Podcast
Charting Success: Nick Desbarats’ Practical Approach to Data Visualization
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1 month ago

On this week’s episode of the podcast, I speak to author and teacher Nick Desbarats about his new book, Practical Charts: The Essential Guide to Creating Clear, Compelling Charts for Reports and Presentations.  Our conversation covers choosing appropriate chart types, emphasizing simplicity and clarity, and understanding when to use different formats. Nick aims to challenge dogmatic views on charts, such as the use of pie charts, and stresses the importance of catering to the audience’s familiarity with graph types. Our chat also includes insights on transitioning to online teaching during the pandemic, the distinction between clear graphs and dashboards, and the significance of mastering fundamentals in data visualization for beginners and intermediates. If you’re familiar with Stephen Few’s work, you’re also bound to find some behind-the-scenes gems in this week’s episode.

Topics Discussed

  • Choosing the Right Chart. Nick kicks off our conversation with an essential primer on selecting the appropriate chart types for different datasets. His focus is on simplicity and clarity, ensuring that the chosen chart communicates the intended message as effectively as possible.
  • Challenging Chart Dogmas. Prepare to have your preconceptions challenged as Nick takes on the controversial stance on pie charts and other commonly debated graph types. It’s all about breaking the mold and understanding why certain charts work better for specific audiences.
  • Catering to Audience Familiarity. A significant portion of our chat is dedicated to the importance of tailoring chart choices to the audience’s level of comfort and familiarity with different types of graphs. This segment is crucial for anyone looking to maximize the impact of their data presentations.

➡️ Check out more links, notes, transcript, and more at the PolicyViz website.

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