Visual Business Intelligence Workshop – London

This workshop will be taught by Nick Desbarats, the only educator authorised by Stephen Few to teach his workshops, and will include the ‘Show Me the Numbers: Table and Graph Design’ (two days) and ‘Information Dashboard Design’ (one day) courses.

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.

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 Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, Second Edition and Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring, Second Edition.

You will learn to:

  • Match your message to the right means of display
  • Design tables and graphs to communicate information simply, clearly, and accuratley
  • Recognise the common problems in dashboard design
  • Avoid clutter and arrange data in a way that communicates clearly and at a glance

Who should attend?

  • People who design dashboards
  • People who need to understand the best practices of visual dashboard design to prepare for the evaluation of dashboard software

This course covers:

  1. The current state and challenges of quantitative data presentation
  2. Introduction to table and graph design
    a) Fundamental challenges of data presentation
    b) Key characteristics of quantitative information
    c) Differing characteristics and uses of tables and graphs
    d) Eight common quantitative relationships featured in graphs
    e) Visual perception and how it applies to data presentation
    f) Steps in the visual design process
  3. Table design
  4. Graph design
    a) Visual objects used to encode values in graphs, and the best uses of each
    b) Matching the right visual encoding objects to the eight fundamental quantitative relationships in graphs
    c) 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 mechnisms
  14. The best practices of dashboard design
£1,950 £1,750


etc venues Marble Arch

Garfield House, 

86 Edgware Rd, 

London W2 2EA

12 - 14 September 2018

Single Rate £1,950*

Early Bird Rate £1,750* (expires 19th of July 2018)

* prices exclude VAT

Meet our Instructor

Nick Desbarats

Nick has 20 years experience designing innovative reporting systems and applications that enable senior decision-makers to make better, faster decisions based on large quantities of data. Trained over 1,000 professionals in eight countries in data visualization and information dashboard design. Recent clients include NASA, Bloomberg, Marathon Oil, Hershey’s, The United Nations, Teradata, Shopify, IMS Health, Central Bank of Tanzania, Crescent Point Energy, Northwestern Mutual, federal political parties, Canadian government, non-profits.

First and only educator authorized to teach Stephen Few’s Perceptual Edge workshops. Founder or co-founder of three enterprise software companies including BitFlash Inc., which raised over $20MM in venture financing and was acquired by OpenText Corp in 2004.

Deep expertise in data visualization, information dashboard design, cognition and cognitive biases, perception, judgement, decision-making, software design and development processes. Featured speaker at major conferences (CTIA, JavaOne, GSM World). USPTO decision-support patent granted in 2012.