Newsletters

Scope of Responsibility Changes the View

I’ve been teaching a lot of data visualization workshops lately. Inevitably, when I reach the part of the day when I ask participants how they gather requirements to build a monitoring dashboard, I always get the same rote, data-analyst-centric response: … Continue reading

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Stop Hunting Unicorns and Start Building Teams

Guests in our home are often very generous with their compliments on my cooking skills. While I sincerely wish those compliments were deserved, the sad (and, okay, shocking) truth is that they are not. I’m not a great cook: rather, … Continue reading

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Mental Models

Whenever I teach my “data visualization best practices” courses, I always include an introductory overview about mental models – an explanation of a person’s thought process about how something works in the real world. I do this because understanding mental … Continue reading

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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

Twitter Me This

Time for a confession: I’ve been a Twitter skeptic from day one. Even though I understand how it works (140-character electronic updates – “Tweets” – that people post for their followers – friends, family, political junkies – and that fill … Continue reading

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

“Time is [Not] on My Side”: Using Time Efficiently When Developing Dashboards

In 1657, the French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal apologized for a very lengthy letter he had written thus: “This letter is so long only because I had no time to make it shorter.” Over 350 years later, his words … Continue reading

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The Hammock Chronicles (2016 Edition)

Long-time subscribers to this newsletter know that every August, my family and I retreat to Bustins Island in Casco Bay, Maine, where I commandeer the hammock and contemplate life (along with the inside of my eyelids). (Check out previous posts … Continue reading

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2016 Summer Reading List for the Healthcare Data Geek

I don’t know about you, but I was shocked when I glanced at the calendar and realized that it was time for my annual summer reading list for healthcare data geeks! HULLO! Wasn’t it October just last week? Anyway, without … Continue reading

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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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David Bowie vs. Alan Gilbert

I recently watched Charlie Rose interview New York Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert (pictured at right). During the interview, Gilbert described how he slowly and in small increments moved the Philharmonic musicians (and by extension their audiences) from a traditional view … Continue reading

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