Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic is a book that aims to teach readers how to effectively communicate data through storytelling. The book emphasizes the importance of creating graphs that are easy to read and understand, and that tell a compelling story.
The book is divided into two parts. Section one focuses on the principles of visualizing data, including choosing the right type of graph, simplifying the visual design, and focusing on the key message. Part two provides examples of how to apply these principles in practice, using real-world data sets.
Part One: Principles of Visualizing Data
Choosing the Right Graph: The author stresses the importance of selecting the right type of graph to best represent the data being presented. She outlines different types of graphs, such as bar charts, line graphs, and scatter plots, and provides guidance on when each type of graph is appropriate. The author highlights the importance of considering the audience and message when selecting a graph.
Simplifying Visual Design:
The book emphasizes the importance of simplifying the visual design of graphs to make them easy to read and understand. The author recommends removing any unnecessary clutter from graphs, such as gridlines and unnecessary labels. She also recommends using color and contrast effectively to draw attention to the most important parts of the graph.
Focusing on the Key Message:
The author emphasizes the importance of identifying the key message of a graph and focusing on it. She provides guidance on how to identify the key message, and then how to structure the graph to effectively communicate that message. The author provides examples of how to highlight the key message using design elements such as annotations and callouts.
Part Two: Applying Principles in Practice
The second part of the book provides examples of how to apply the principles outlined in part one in practice. The author uses real-world data sets and provides step-by-step instructions on how to create effective graphs using the principles outlined in part one. The author also provides guidance on how to identify the key message in each data set. How to structure the graph to effectively communicate that message.
One of the strengths of this book is that it provides a wide range of examples. Including examples from different industries and different types of data. This allows readers to see how the principles of effective data visualization can be applied to a variety of situations.
The author also includes a section on common mistakes to avoid when creating graphs. This section provides guidance on how to avoid common pitfalls such as using 3D graphs. Using a pie chart when a bar chart is more appropriate, and using a misleading scale on a graph.
Overall, Storytelling with Data is a valuable resource for anyone looking to improve their data visualization skills. The book provides clear guidance on the principles of effective data visualization. And provides real-world examples of how to apply those principles in practice. The author’s emphasis on identifying the key message of a graph and focusing on it is particularly helpful. As this is a key aspect of effective data communication. The book is accessible and easy to read, making it a great resource for anyone looking to improve their data communication skills.