Category Archives: Book of the Week

Big Data Bookshelf: Data Flow 2

Data Flow 2 presents many use­ful exam­ples of data visu­al­iza­tion which are orga­nized by the form of the chart or info­graphic: Data Maps — maps and car­tograms Data Process — process or flow charts Data Blocks — bar carts, colum­nar charts, 3d blocks Data Cir­cles — cir­cles, pie charts It’s a use­ful book with lots […]

Big Data Bookshelf : DAX Formulas for PowerPivot

Power­pivot is an addin for Microsoft Excel which enables analy­sis of larger data sets (>1M rows) within Excel and also more sophis­ti­cated analy­sis that typ­i­cally would involve mul­ti­ple SQL queries with com­plex data joins. I blogged about learn­ing Pow­er­pivot last year. One of the dif­fi­cult things is the lack of usable doc­u­men­ta­tion or cook­books on […]

Big Data Bookshelf: Data Points: Visualization that Means Something

In the newly released book Data Points: Vsu­al­iza­toin that Means Some­thing, Nathan Yau (Flow­ing Data blog) shares his ideas on under­stand­ing, visu­al­iz­ing, and ana­lyz­ing data. The exam­ples are use­ful and imple­mentable. Many focus on sets of graphs with mul­ti­ple dimen­sions of data, rather than a sin­gle chart type. The author also presents ideas and examples […]

Grasping data through physical models

Is it eas­ier to glean insights from data using a phys­i­cal model? Most of the advances in tech­nol­ogy (data visu­al­iza­tion, chart­ing, inter­ac­tive graph­ics) have made it much eas­ier to get insights using on-​screen imag­ing. By and large they have replaced phys­i­cal con­struc­tion and draw­ing of charts with rulers, com­passes, and inks. But what if we […]

Book of the Week: The Periodic Table: Its Story and Significance

Orga­niz­ing the chem­i­cal ele­ments into reg­u­larly recur­ing cat­e­gories was a major step in the his­tory of chemisty. The Russ­ian chemist Mendeleev played an impor­tant role in cre­at­ing the mod­ern peri­odic table, and look­ing at how he got there pro­vides some ideas for orga­niz­ing, clas­si­fy­ing, and ana­lyz­ing large data sets. First, the ideas around peri­od­ic­ity evolved […]

Book of the Week: Developing Business Scorecard Metrics + Smoot’s Ear

What are three char­ac­ter­is­tics of good busi­ness score­card met­rics? In con­struct­ing an effec­tive met­ric, the designer needs to look at three fac­tors before set­ting tar­gets: 1) Sim­plic­ity: Is the met­ric sim­ple and easy to under­stand? Is there a direct rela­tion­ship between action and result? For exam­ple, say this is a retailer who oper­ates in multiple […]

Book of the Week: History of Topographical Maps

The His­tory of Topo­graph­i­cal Maps by P D A Har­vey is a schol­arly sur­vey of how the topo­graph­i­cal map was devel­oped, begin­ning in clas­si­cal antiq­uity through medieval times. I saw it in a local used book­shop in Red­mond near my house. Car­tog­ra­phy has always fas­ci­nated me, esoe­cially the­matic maps that visu­al­ize data. The book looks […]