Design Basics

Red, Yellow, Green… Save It For The Christmas Tree

Listen up folks… it is time for a red, yellow, green color intervention of the most serious kind. The use of red, yellow, green to indicate performance on your reports and dashboards has reached a crisis level and can no … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Data Visualization, Design Basics, Know Your Audience, Newsletters, Using Color | Leave a comment

Raising the Bar on Stacked Bar Charts

Unfortunately, and more often than is good for my mental health, I encounter data being ineffectively displayed in stacked bar charts. Which phenomenon leads to my “Question of the Day”: When should we present our healthcare data in a stacked … Continue reading

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And Around We Go… Again

As I mature (and boy, is aging a high price to pay for maturity), I find I have very little need or even desire to win an (never mind every) argument, or to prove that I’m right about something. I … Continue reading

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Posted in Design Basics, Graphs, Newsletters | 1 Comment

Really Big Goals

Like a lot of people I am a big goal-setter. I especially love BHAG’s [pronounced “Be- hags”?]: Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals. You know: the ones based on no logic or well-developed plan whatsoever, but rather conjured up by the sheer … Continue reading

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Posted in Design Basics, Graphs, Newsletters | 1 Comment

Postcard from New Zealand

It has been almost a month since my return to the States, following a truly gratifying professional engagement with the Canterbury Health District and Health Informatics New Zealand (HINZ). If you’ve ever had the pleasure of traveling to New Zealand, … Continue reading

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Learning to See Data

Imagine my delight when I read a recent New York Times article entitled “Learning to See Data.” It was right up my alley. The article describes scientific work in a branch of psychology called “perceptual learning.” The focus of the … Continue reading

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Seeing the Connections

Have you ever had one of those palm-smacking-forehead moments when you knew that even if it were raining brains, you wouldn’t get wet? Me, too — had one just the other day, as a matter of fact. Here’s what happened. … Continue reading

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Posted in Communicating Data to the Public, Design Basics, Newsletters | 1 Comment

The Luxury of Less

I often find myself torn between wanting to get as much useful information as possible onto a single page of the reports and dashboards we design and build, and my love of white space, or “The Luxury of Less.” In … Continue reading

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Posted in Design Basics, Newsletters, Tables | Leave a comment

Bubble Charts

I am grateful to newsletter reader Meic Goodyear, who was kind enough to share a very interesting project that he and his colleague Brian Coutinho have been working on. Here are Meic’s description of the project and the associated data … Continue reading

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The Goal-Gradient Effect

I’m a big goal-setter. You name it, and I’ve probably set a goal for it. This is no badge of honor, mind you — there are millions of people just like me who set goals and work hard to achieve … Continue reading

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Posted in Decision Support, Design Basics, Graphs, Newsletters | 1 Comment