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Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data Paperback – 3 Feb 2006
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From the Publisher
Dashboards have become popular in recent years as uniquely powerful tools for communicating important information at a glance. This book will teach you the visual design skills you need to create dashboards that communicate clearly, rapidly, and compellingly. The greatest display technology in the world won't solve this if you fail to use effective visual design. And if a dashboard fails to tell you precisely what you need to know in an instant, you'll never use it, even if it's filled with cute gauges, meters, and traffic lights. Don't let your investment in dashboard technology go to waste.
About the Author
Stephen Few has over 20 years of experience as an innovator, consultant, and educator in the fields of business intelligence (a.k.a. data warehousing and decision support) and information design. Through his company, Perceptual Edge, he focuses on the effective analysis and presentation quantitative business information. Stephen is recognized as a world leader in the field of data visualization. He teaches regularly at conferences such as those presented by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) and DCI, and also in the MBA program at the Haas School of Business at U. C. Berkeley. He is also the author of the book "Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten" (Analytics Press).
Top customer reviews
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We can only hope that his ideas will now catch on, and that the awful drek that infests the vast majority of dashboard designs by even the largest of vendors will be swept away forever. If I never see another big shiny gauge again, it will be too soon.
Whilst I do think that information dashboard design has come on leaps and bounds in recent years, I do still find examples that demonstrate the negative points Few raises; indeed I find these whilst looking back at some of my previous and current work.
In truth there is very little that the author highlights as new information, rather this is a well thought out and presented collection of best practices. As such, I do not regret buying it, and I would not hesitate to recommend it to others whose work involves the development of information dashboards.
However, if you tend to present tables and graphs as reports instead, then I would suggest "Show Me the Numbers" as a better alternative. Additionally, for a more indepth study into perception and visual information design, works by Edward Tufte or Colin Ware might be of interest. Stephen Few recommends these in his books, and after reading some of their works I can understand why.
I'm glad to report that this book is not like that. Few writes with a casual tone, yet you are consciously aware that he is an expert in his field and he provides information at a steady rate, rather than overwhelming you with information. With intelligent use of figures and well planned chapters, this is a definitive reference tool for those who need to present data in graphical formats. So often when people produce graphs and charts, they end up like the nightmare Powerpoint presentation from Hell. Few gives practical advice on human perception as well as the relationship between information and visualisation that will truly help you to produce meaningful and appreciated dashboards, rather than the complex and downright ugly solutions that the author uses to show the worst examples.
If you are getting into Dashboard design, then this should be your primary purchase. If you produce graphical reports of any kind then this book is definitely worth a read.
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Most recent customer reviews
You probably know a lot of it - that is the beauty of this book.Read more
Users say they want dashboards because they think they look good and makes them look important.Read more
Still lots of material presented in it is already on website of the writer (Stephen Few). I personally expected more from this book.