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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten » User review

Use Excel (or PowerPoint)? Read this book

  • Jan 20, 2005
As a consultant I need to gather and analyze data and transform it into information and findings. This book leads you through the transformation of data - especially if you use Excel or PowerPoint - by showing how to select the best table and chart formats to convey the information aggregated from data.

The thrust of the book is communicating. The author lays a solid foundation early in the book by covering qualtitative relationships, summarization and various data types. He then builds upon the foundation with succinct discussions and advice on selecting tablular formats and the correct charts to convey the information.

While Excel is the principal tool used to illustrate the concepts and techniques in the book, I have applied the author's advice to Visio and PowerPoint, as well as a few more obscure charting and graphics programs.

I like the clarity with which the information is presented, and the practical examples given throughout the book. More importantly, this book isn't a tome that is aimed at graphic designers, making it an ideal resource for technical and business professionals who do not fully grasp the nuances of graphic presentation.

If you present data and information - using any application - I strongly recommend this book because it will make your presentations meaningful and easy-to-understand, and will show you how to avoid a plethora of common mistakes like using the wrong chart or impossible to understand tables.

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About the reviewer
Mike Tarrani ()
Ranked #287
My day job is in the technology sector as an IT consultant specializing in ITIL, and specifically, configuration, change and release management. I've traveled the world as a consultant before moving … more
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About this book


"A must read...for anyone working in the field of business intelligence." --David Wells, Director of Education, The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI)

"A real gem…clear, concise, and comprehensive." --Dr. Richard Mayer, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

"More accessible than Cleveland's books and...more practical advice than Tufte's. I highly recommend it." --Dr. Pat Hanrahan, Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University
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Books, Nonfiction, Graphic Design, Presentations, Graph Theory, Information Visualization, Information Design, Business Presentations


ISBN-10: 0970601999
ISBN-13: 978-0970601995
Author: Stephen Few
Genre: Computers & Internet, Science
Publisher: Analytics Press
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