We’ve done quite a bit of research over the last few years into data visualization best practices, and the cognitive psychology of how people best absorb visual information. This two-part series is to summarize what we’ve learned so far, in an effort to help our audience be better communicators, and to foster conversation around making good charts in the planning community.
If you’ve had a hard time convincing your colleagues that training would be beneficial, but you know it will be, this is definitely for you. Even a seasoned user will have several “aha moments” within the first 20 minutes.
We’ll be adding classes over time, so if the schedule doesn’t meet your needs, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or just take a fresh look now and again.
One thing we’ve talked a lot about in the last year is that creating your visuals in planning (data visualization and plan communications) is a very specific area of study, and discipline.
photo credit: menshealth.com
Communications in business, generally, should be designed for optimal readability by their audience, to cut risk. Miscommunication in business is bad. This means we need to actually put some think-time and design-work into our plan-related communications.
If you and your organization haven’t circled back around just yet, to make sure you’re doing it right, this article might help give you some food for thought on how to retroactively initiate a design phase. Continue reading →
When you are changing your settings in OnePager (Home > Project-View Properties), you’ve probably noticed the three buttons at the bottom of the screen:
Everybody gets what OK and Cancel are, but Apply isn’t quite as common. In short, the Apply button lets you make changes, see them take effect, and continue to make more edits with the window still open. Keeping the window open makes it easy for you to make more changes without having to go out of Project-View Properties and then come back in:
I love this topic because it elicits a higher level of thought around designing the data visualizations we need in planning, in a way that my simple mind can consume.
In her book “Storytelling with Data,” Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic points out very early on that there are really two kinds of data visualizations: exploratory and explanatory. Exploratory visuals are created to help us figure out what the important things are within the data…they have an analytical purpose. Explanatory visuals are meant only to show us the important things…there should be little to no intended analytical value. Continue reading →
I had a user recently ask my advice on standing up a OnePager User Group, and I thought the topic warranted some organized thought. Whenever I get the opportunity I always advocate for someone to spearhead creation of an internal OnePager User Group, wherever we have users. A user group can help:
Nine. Well, so says Scott Berinato, in his book Good Charts. He bases this number on a conversation he had with Tamara Munzner, a data visualization expert and professor of computer science at the University of British Columbia. Here is an example Gantt chart with more than 8 colors.
The marketing industry has played a large role in figuring out how to best get information across to audiences. I realize we’re in the planning-world here…so bear with me, folks.
“Storytelling” is something marketing experts have been talking about for years, as a better way to communicate brands, products, and what sets businesses apart. It’s now a recognized, tried and true approach, and one that has taken a firm foothold due to its effectiveness. Our customer experiences online are, in large part, shaped by “stories” that marketers have set up for us to more easily get to know what they’re selling, and eventually buy it.
Because of this success, storytelling is now quickly making its way into business vernacular, specifically with respect to data. With so much data being collected over the course of doing normal business, we need better ways to communicate that data (the stuff we’re “selling”), in such a way that it can be easily consumed (“buying it”). Continue reading →