More than Looking “Pretty” – Matching Graph Colors to Branding

More than Looking “Pretty” – Matching Graph Colors to Branding

Adding color to graphs is simultaneously the easiest and absolute hardest technique to nail. Color is about much, much more than simply making your graphs look pretty. When used well, color can enhance branding, guide viewers’ eyes to the most important pieces of the graph,…

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The Simplification & Emphasis Approach to Editing Graphs

The Simplification & Emphasis Approach to Editing Graphs

I teach about data visualization a lot. And it basically comes down to two techniques: simplification and emphasis. Here’s a default graph with fictional data: First, simplify the graph. Remove the border. Remove the horizontal grid lines. Remove the vertical axis. Remove the legend. Remove…

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How to Place Labels Directly on Top of Your Line Graph

How to Place Labels Directly on Top of Your Line Graph

I recently discussed four options for labeling line graphs. A personal favorite is to place the labels directly on top of the data points, like this: There’s been a lot of interest in this labeling technique, so here’s your step-by-step tutorial!   First, set up…

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Sorting and Filtering Your Spreadsheets

Sorting and Filtering Your Spreadsheets

Have a list of words that need some alphabetizing? Have a list of numbers that you want to arrange from least to greatest or greatest to least? Rather than painstakingly rearranging your rows by hand, let Excel’s Sorting and Filtering features do the heavy lifting…

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One Dataset, Five Line Charts

One Dataset, Five Line Charts

I recently partnered with a group of public health researchers. We were brainstorming different ways to display the number of new HIV infections in each subgroup. The organization wanted to compare HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM), African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and injection…

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