This course was created by Pete Mockaitis of How to Be Awesome at Your Job. We are pleased to offer this training in our library.
Skill Level Beginner
- [Pete] Let's hear about your book here, "Effective Data Visualization: The Right Shark "for the Right Data." What's the scoop here? - [Stephanie] Well, yeah, so the big idea is that we can tell better, more useful data stories if we just learned a little bit about the chart choices that are out there today and when to use them, and that it's totally doable to make those awesome charts right inside Excel. And it's really focused on that because I think that people need to know how to be the masters of the tools they already own, and that great visuals don't necessarily require a graphic designer or someone who knows how to code. - [Pete] That's handy, so so you've also got a data visualization sketch book that's accompanying this, and what do we see in a sketch book? - [Stephanie] Well, it's kind of the opposite of making graphs in Excel. It's encouraging us to turn off our computers. The purpose here is actually to let us think, 'cause I think what happens a lot of the times is that we just go straight to Power Point or we go straight to Excel or whatever software we're using, it doesn't even really matter, and we just start clicking buttons. Like okay, maybe I'll try this chart. Okay, maybe I'll try this chart, and we're just heading straight to the button clicking before we've even really thought about what we need to do or show or the big picture of the whole presentation, so what we see when we look at the research around sketching is that when we take out all the distracting like menus and buttons and fun things that we can click, and we just let ourselves have some empty space, that's when our working memory actually does processing, and it let's us think. So the sketchbook is like your excuse to get out of the office and go draw for awhile. You're going to come back with so many better ideas than you would have if you would have just stared at your computer screen. - [Pete] I like that, and I remember we used to sort of sketch 'em out roughly on post it notes, and then rearrange the post it notes, the nice big rectangular ones, and say, oh, no, I don't want this type, I want that type, and it was fun. It made you feel a little bit like an artiste, you know, who's designing something as opposed to a computer cog. - [Stephanie] Yeah, exactly. Well, and I always say, you don't have to be a good artist, you just have to know what that little blob represents later when you're back at your computer.