CGI is pleased to once again host one of the world’s foremost thought leaders in Data Visualization. Stephen Few has retired from teaching these courses, but has authorized Nick Desbarats to teach them in his place. At Stratos – “The Roof of Oslo,” Nick will take you through a three day workshop based on Stephen Few’s bestselling books.”
Nick Desbarats (The first and only educator to be authorized by Stephen Few )
For over 20 years, Nick Desbarats has been designing information displays that enable senior decision-makers to make better, more data-driven decisions based on potentially large amounts of data, and to do so in less time and with less effort. He has extensive knowledge of data visualization, dashboard design, cognition and cognitive biases, perception, memory and learning, software design and development, and product management.
As an independent data visualization educator and consultant, Nick has taught data visualization and information dashboard design to over 1,000 professionals in ten countries at organizations such as NASA, Bloomberg, The Central Bank of Tanzania, Northwestern Mutual, The United Nations, Marathon Oil and Teradata, among others. In 2014, Nick became the first and only educator to be authorized by Stephen Few to deliver his foundational data visualization and dashboard design workshops, and he’s a contributor to Steve’s widely read Perceptual Edge blog.
Show Me the Numbers
Detailed course description
Even very experienced business, financial and data analysts often create graphs that are hard to read, that don’t clearly communicate the graph creator’s point, insight or story, or that unintentionally leave audiences with an incorrect understanding of the underlying data. While the fundamental principles and best practices necessary to avoid these problems aren’t complex, they’re not intuitive either and need to be learned.
Designed by Stephen Few, updated by Nick Desbarats, and based on the foundational book of the same name, Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten equips participants with the best practices and fundamental principles that enable them to easily create tables and graphs that:
- Are quick and easy for audiences to understand
- Make key insights and stories within data clear and obvious
- Minimize the risk that audiences will be left with an incorrect understanding of the underlying data or be uncertain of how to interpret the graph
Who should attend this workshop
Anyone who creates tables and graphs as a regular part of their work, including business and financial analysts, business intelligence and data analysts, executives, project managers, software developers, user experience designers, as well as human resources, marketing, sales, operations and finance professionals. Other professionals, such as researchers, journalists, health care professionals and educators will also benefit. No prior technical or data visualization knowledge is required. Experienced analysts will also benefit from the workshop since having deep data analysis expertise does not necessarily mean that an analyst has mastered the skills necessary to communicate data effectively to others.
- Determining when to present data as a table and when to present it as a graph
- Selecting the most appropriate type of graph for various situations based on the nature of the underlying data and the message to be communicated, as well as the needs, role, and level of sophistication of the audience
- Making visual design choices that make graphs easier to visually process, such as minimizing visual “noise” and designing visualizations with strong visual hierarchies
- Avoiding common graph design mistakes such as choosing inappropriate quantitative scales and misusing color
- Designing tables for easy visual consumption
- Handling common data visualization challenges such as visualizing missing data, data that spans a very wide range, and large numbers of values
- Techniques for making the key insights and stories within visualizations more obvious to audiences
Topics not covered
- This is not a graphic design course. The emphasis is on designing highly functional tables and graphs for audiences that are clear, useful, and easy to read, and that are unlikely to be misinterpreted. The course does not address creating graphs that are artistically beautiful or eye-catching (but often less functional).
- This is not a software product training course. The fundamental principles and best practices of good data visualization design all apply when creating visualizations using any modern data visualization software product.
- This course does not teach participants how to create complex, esoteric chart types. Simple, familiar graphs are almost always the most effective choices for the day-to-day visualization needs of most organizations.
The workshop consists of engaging, interactive presentation segments that feature real-world and fictional graph examples, interleaved with eight group exercises and discussions. Best practices are demonstrated, not just stated, so that audiences understand not just what the best practices are, but also why they yield visualizations that are clearer and easier for audiences to understand. No computers or software are used. The workshop is two days in length with morning, lunch and afternoon breaks. At the end of the workshop, each participant receives a copy of Stephen Few’s book, Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, on which the workshop is based.
While many people assume that data analysis requires advanced statistical knowledge, the reality is that 90% of day-to-day analytical needs that arise in organizations can be met using simple, visual techniques.
Designed by Stephen Few, updated by Nick Desbarats, and based on the book of the same name, Now You See It equips workshop participants with the skills needed to explore data to discover valuable new insights and answer the most common types of analytical questions using simple yet powerful graph types and data visualization techniques.
Who should attend this workshop
Anyone who is –or would like to be– responsible for making sense of data, finding useful insights and meaning within it, and quickly answering the most common types of analytical questions that arise within organizations. While business, financial and data analysts obviously fall within this group, workshop participants often include people from all parts of the organization, including finance, marketing, sales, human resources and operations. Other professionals, such as researchers, journalists, health care providers and educators will also benefit.
No special knowledge or skills are required in order to attend this workshop, although participants should have experience creating simple charts using popular data visualization software products.
- Fundamentals of visual perception and how they apply to visual data analysis
- Desirable personality traits, knowledge and skills to bring to analysis tasks
- Visual patterns in data that are often meaningful
- Simple yet powerful graph types and visual techniques for performing the most common types of data analysis:
- Time series
- Ranking and part-to-whole
- The analytical navigation process and the important role of interactivity
- Critical contributions from the research community
Topics not covered
- This is not a software product training course. The techniques taught can used with most major, modern visual data analysis software products.
- While some basic statistical concepts are covered, this is not a course on statistics.
- Statistical methods and other non-visual data analysis techniques are not discussed.
The workshop consists of engaging, interactive presentation segments that feature realistic scenarios, as well as a group exercise wherein participants apply recently learned skills by identifying how different views of the same data can answer different analytical questions. No computers or software are used. The workshop lasts one full day, with morning, lunch and afternoon breaks. At the end of the workshop, each participant receives a copy of Stephen Few’s book, Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis, on which the workshop is based.
Cancellations must be received in writing at least two weeks before the commencement of the seminar and will be subject to a 10% administration fee. Unfortunately, cancellations received within two weeks of the seminar date will be liable for the full seminar fee. Substitutions can be made at any time.