Visual Business Intelligence Workshop – UK

A comprehensive 4 days course including three of Stephen’s workshops; Show Me the Numbers: Table and Graph Design’ (two-day course), ‘Information Dashboard Design’ and ‘Now You See It’

Show Me the Numbers: Table and Graph Design

No information is more important to most organizations than quantitative information — numbers that measure performance, identify opportunities, and predict the future. Most quantitative information is presented in tables and graphs. Unfortunately, most tables and graphs produced in organizations today are poorly designed—often to the point of misinformation. Why? Because almost no one who produces them, including specialists such as financial analysts and business intelligence professionals, have been trained in effective table and graph design. You can become an exception to this norm.

The ability to present quantitative information effectively is not intuitive; it requires visual communication skills that must be learned. Based on the book Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten by Stephen Few, this course provides an in-depth introduction to the best practices of quantitative data presentation.

This course alleviates countless hours of confusion and frustration. Following Stephen Few’s clear precepts, communicated through examples of what works, what doesn’t, and explanations of why, you will learn to design tables and graphs that present data clearly and drive your message home. This two-day version of the course differs from the previous one-day version in part by including more content (for example, more information about table design), but mostly by adding many more group exercises and extended discussions to drive the principles home and build a firmer foundation for the development of expertise. You will leave this course having developed table and graph design skills that will stick with you and add immediate value to your work.

Each attendee receives a copy of the book Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, Second Edition.

Information Dashboard Design

Dashboards have become a popular means to present critical information at a glance, but few do so effectively. When designed well, dashboards engage the power of visual perception to communicate a dense collection of information efficiently, with exceptional clarity. This can only be achieved, however, by applying visual design skills that address the unique challenges of dashboards. These skills are not intuitive; they must be learned.

Stephen Few, a leader in the field of data visualization and author of Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring, Second Edition (2013), will expose the common problems in dashboard design and introduce effective design practices through examples that explain what works, what doesn’t, and why.

Each attendee receives a copy of the book Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring, Second Edition.

Now You See It: Visual Data Analysis

Ninety percent of all business data analysis can be done using simple graphing techniques to discern meaningful patterns in data. The remaining 10%, which requires sophisticated statistical and financial analysis skills, is well addressed by available resources, but where are the resources that teach the skills needed by the rest of us? Even though these skills are easy to learn and apply with proper guidance, very few people involved in analyzing business data know them. This course provides a solution.

This course is intended for all those whose work requires them to make sense of quantitative business data. This audience is much broader than financial analysts, or even analysts by any name. This course provides practical skills that are useful to managers at all levels and to anyone interested in keeping a keen eye on the business. Anyone who uses Excel or any of the many other business productivity tools used for data access, analysis, and reporting, will learn how to use them productively, perhaps for the first time.

Each attendee receives a copy of the book Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis.

You Will Learn To

  • Match your message to the right type of display
  • Design tables and graphs to communicate information simply, clearly, and accurately
  • Recognize the common problems in dashboard design
  • Avoid clutter and arrange data in a way that communicates clearly and at a glance
  • Understand each of the prominent quantitative relationships and the stories they have to tell (time-series, distribution, correlation, etc)
  • Use the best graphs, visual analysis techniques, and practices for analyzing each type of quantitative relationship
  • Recognize the visual characteristics of data that are meaningful
  • Navigate through data analytically and efficiently
  • Apply the findings of information visualization research to the analysis of business data

Here’s an outline of what will be covered during this 4-day workshop

1. The current state and challenges of quantitative data presentation

2. Introduction to table and graph design

  • Fundamental challenges of data presentation
  • Key characteristics of quantitative information
  • Differing characteristics and uses of tables and graphs
  • Eight common quantitative relationships featured in graphs
  • Visual perception and how it applies to data presentation
  • Steps in the visual design process

3. Table design

4. Graph design

  • Visual objects used to encode values in graphs, and the best uses of each
  • Matching the right visual encoding objects to the eight fundamental quantitative relationships in graphs
  • Graph design at the component level

5. The current state of dashboards

6. The definition and potential benefits of dashboards

7. The fundamental challenges of dashboard design

8. The 13 common mistakes in dashboard design

9. The characteristics of well-designed dashboards

10. Steps in the dashboard design process

11. Common dashboard information and techniques for enriching its meaning

12. Selecting appropriate media for displaying the data

13. An ideal library of dashboard display mechanisms

14. The best practices of dashboard design

15. An introduction to visual data analysis

16. The traits of top data analysts

17. The best data for meaningful analysis

18. Visual perception and data visualization

19. Visual characteristics to look for in the data

20. Quantitative business analysis techniques by type

  • Analyzing time series
  • Analyzing rankings and parts-to-whole
  • Analyzing deviations
  • Analyzing distributions
  • Analyzing correlations
  • Analyzing multivariate profiles
  • Analyzing geo-spatial data

21. Analytical navigation

22. The critical contributions from the information visualization research community