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Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic

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chapter 6 dissecting model visuals

Up to this point, we’ve covered a number of lessons you can employ to improve your ability to communicate with data. Now that you understand the basics of what makes a visual effective, let’s consider some additional examples of what “good” data visualization looks like. Before covering our final lesson, in this chapter we will look at several model visuals and discuss the thought process and design choices that led to their creation, utilizing the lessons we’ve covered.

You’ll notice some similar considerations being made across the various examples. When creating each example, I thought about how I want the audience to process the information and made corresponding choices regarding what to emphasize and draw the audience’s attention to as well as what to de-emphasize. Because of this, you will see common points raised around color and size. The choice of visual, relative ordering of data, alignment and positioning of elements, and use of words are also discussed in a number of cases. This repetition is useful to reinforce the concepts I’m thinking about and resulting design choices across the various examples.

Each visual highlighted was created to meet the need of a specific situation. I’ll discuss the relevant scenarios briefly, but don’t worry too much about the details. Rather, spend time looking at and thinking about each model visual. Consider what data visualization challenges you face where the given approach (or aspects of the ...

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