Show me the Numbers

Days 1-2 – Show Me the Numbers: Table and Graph Design

The ability to design effective visual displays of data is not intuitive; it requires a set of visual design skills that must be learned. No information is more important to a business than quantitative information—the numbers that measure performance, identify opportunities, and forecast the future. Most quantitative information is presented as tables and graphs. Unfortunately, most tables and graphs used in business 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 other report developers, have been trained in effective table and graph design. You can become an exception to this norm. Based on his book, Show Me the Numbers, Few will introduce the best practices in data presentation.

This course provides practical instruction in table and graph design developed specifically for the needs of business. It eliminates countless hours of confusion and frustration. Following Few’s clear principles and practices, communicated through examples of what works, what doesn’t, and why, you will learn to design tables and graphs that present data clearly and drive your message home.

This course covers:

  • Fundamental challenges of data presentation
  • Differing characteristics and uses of tables and graphs
  • Seven important quantitative relationships in business graphs
  • Visual perception and how it applies to data presentation
  • Steps in the visual information design process
  • Visual design methods for highlighting data
  • Best practices of table design
  • Effective ways to encode quantitative information graphically
  • Matching the right graph to your data and message
  • Component-level graph design (colors, scales, labels, etc.)

Everyone who attends this course will receive a copy of the book Show Me the Numbers, authored by Stephen Few.