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Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals
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Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  2,623 ratings  ·  282 reviews
Don't simply show your data--tell a story with it! Storytelling with Data teaches you the fundamentals of data visualization and how to communicate effectively with data. You'll discover the power of storytelling and the way to make data a pivotal point in your story. The lessons in this illuminative text are grounded in theory, but made accessible through numerous real-wo ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 2nd 2015 by Wiley (first published October 7th 2015)
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Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mpd
This book is super-useful for anyone dealing with data of any size or scope. It’s clear, practical advice backed by insight into how the human brain works.

As I’ve worked on improving my visual communication skills, I’ve gotten better at including visuals such as graphs. However, I tend to stop there — “okay, I have a graph; visual checkbox ticked off!” — which is necessary but not sufficient. Just because I’ve visually outlined information does not mean I have done so in a way that’s best for my
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Ever since I read The Visual Display of Quantitative Information when it came out in the 1980's, I have been awed by the power of a really good graphic to communicate insight. From time to time I pick up a book on the topic to find tips to help me improve my information design skills.

I have not seen a better introduction to the subject of data visualization for storytelling than Storytelling with Data. The audience is clearly analysts using basic tools (think Excel) who are new to the subject.
Diogo Sá
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Storytelling with data is a great book for anyone who desires to grasp the basic concepts behind communication with data. From general understanding of the different types of graphs to pick from to showcase different stories, to learn how to declutter and improve your creations, this book gives you great insights. It is a fun, enjoyable and easy to read book.
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great book!! Lots of great reminders, and excellent points! Lots of us use data to help our clients (internal and external) but most of us don’t have formal training on how to make sense of it, and help our audience understand it. Like any other type of communication, you need to think about your audience and be organized. Very great read!
Ha Pham
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the most important books I read this year. It's the kind of inspiring book that open your eyes and make you see the world differently. It also makes you a much better and nicer person, and will help you go to heaven when you die, because by finishing this book you will treat the audience of your visualizations with love and respect. Your data, your story, your friends, your colleagues, your clients... all of them deserve better.

100/10 recommended.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely fantastic book and a must read for anyone who is doing any sort of data analytics. The author has an awesome simplistic style not only in her data visualization but also in her writing. The book was powerful and concise in its messaging. I don't think a single word in the book was superfluous, and the author does an amazing job of walking you step by step in how you can have that same power in communicating with data.
Michael Scott
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: design
TODO full review:
--- Overall, yet another book about information visualization. There is nothing bad in it, but also there is nothing particularly new, or particularly good, or particularly inspiring.
+ Summary: take the idea of storytelling being the most important part of communication (many sources, including authors of excellent books on presentations Scott Berkun and Nancy Duarte, plus pop-science authors Simon Sinek and Chip Heath), combine with the idea of communicating in visuals (Edward
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great resource for data biz basics ... explains the psychology and reasoning behind all of the best practices using the standard arsenal: gestalt principles and preattentive attributes. Would recommend to anybody who wants to spruce up their charts or data-based presentations.
Tuncay Özdemir
Jan 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've read a few more books on this topic before. Some points in this book contradict what I have read before. For example, in the book "Say it with Charts" I read before, pie chart was suggested in the representation of the components that make up the parts of the whole. In this book, it is suggested to avoid visualizations such as pie chart or donut chart and to focus on alternatives.

According to the author, it seems very important to focus especially on the story to be told. The graphs to be d
Paul W
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: business, data
As the amount of data we generate grows exponentially, it is increasingly important that we can make sense of it for decision making. To do this we need to be able to use data visualisation to discover the story, the insight, behind the raw data.
Knaflic sets out six key points for effective storytelling using data: start by understanding the context and choosing an appropriate method to visualise the data. Then focus attention on the key points and eliminate clutter. And adopt user-centred desig
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The biggest impact this book had on me was in changing the mindset of showing the data to actually telling a story with the data. The focus of the book is to make clear data visualizations that makes the audience see the results you want them to see. The author urges the reader to go beyond the default settings in your tool and guides the reader on choosing the right type of visualization, removing clutter and design tips. I think the design tips are especially helpful since most non-designers d ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good reminder how to make data vizuals better, what works and what does not.
Comparable graphs in the book make visual understanding easy.
Joakim Ljungren
Mar 02, 2017 rated it liked it
Coming from a design background, I was looking for more of something that could be relevant to UI design. I guess this book targets business people more than designers and I think ways to apply her ideas mainly concerns static powerpoint presentations rather than interactive user interfaces.

My take-away is the storytelling chapter. Other than that, it's basically just usability principles redefined in a business context.
Mar 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Quite decent entry level guide on how to visualise data that supports the message that you are trying to get across and how to create the narrative that is supported by data, in that sense all the basics are covered here. For me it was bit too basic, but I found main value in examples I can learn from and there's a lot.

Few takeaways:

- live presentation - not too information dense graphs, all data does not have to be in one slide, because when you start to explain it, you will loose the audience
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dicas-amigos
Very practical, funny to read and useful. A game changing for everyone who has to create graphics and tell any story.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Best book I've read on data visualization for business audiences. The author obviously has a lot of practical experience. She has also read and digested what you need to know from the major books on the subject (e.g., Tufte).

For data exploration and more technical data visualization, this might not be the best answer. But you should still consider the principles from this book.
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Must read.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Storytelling with Data serves as a beginning for people who want to better present the results of their analysis. The book's title gives the author's approach: you're telling a story, so who is your audience, and how should you best tell them the story so that they understand what you want them to learn. How you shape your data is based on how the mind perceives graphical images. The book is introductory: enough for most people to get started, which is probably enough as well. While the methods ...more
Hanako Shigenobu
No joke this book changed my life
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very handy for both students and professionals. Every theory is backed by relevant and practical examples. Irrespective of your background, if you are to make a presentation, this book is going to be your trusted consultant.
Omid Milanifard
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book will help you to improve the ability of presenting data to your audiences. If you are a data scientist, business analyst or a postgraduate student, I highly recommended to read this book.
Tiago Ricotta
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
good knowledge until chapter 9, terrible conclusion repeating over and over and over again eveything. I know it is said in the book that repeating is a way to learn, but not like that :D
Alejandro Restrepo Zea
Very good book

I’m very interest in improve my business presentations, the principles into this book are the way to achieve this challenge, boosting the communication is the first step to fulfill the goals.
Jason Alleger
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I teach an MBA course on storytelling with data and read a number of books before choosing this one as my course textbook.

It’s wonderfully straightforward. Nothing superfluous. I love that all the examples can be done in Excel. It teaches good theory behind the practices; something that is memorable beyond the examples themselves.

I’ve since sent this book to others I know in the industry, and my data storytelling has never been better.
Dhwani Parekh
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a big help when I was struggling to convey my work through a good story. Absolutely recommend for everyone who wants to excel at storytelling/chart-making skills to tell a compelling point of view.
Arpan Bhattacharya
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A great primer for how to tell a story with data. I learned most of what is covered in UX courses I had taken before so a lot of this book was a recap of concepts I was already familiar with. However, the book was written very well and focused on the fundamental way to tell a story with data rather than delving into specifics. I also liked how she ended the book by stressing how important it was to iterate on designs and test them on different readers to see how they interacted with the viz.

Héctor Iván Patricio Moreno
I can't recommend this book enough to everyone who wants to learns how to improve their skills in the creation of visualizations, but also to people who wants to create better visual artifacts in general. I didn't know anything about Graphic Design before this book, and very little about storytelling, but now I think a have a pretty solid foundation to continue on my learning path and also I feel like I can apply what I've learned directly in my work.

This book feels like if you were taking a wor
Zaina Al-Yahya
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: data
A must read for any professional, regardless of the industry. It really gave me a different perspective on what data to present and how. Data could be very rigid and unintuitive, but building a story around really changes the whole thing. I now continuously refer to the book when I want to present analytics and data.
Nov 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: work-books
I have been to a workshop that the author held and while this book did not present any new information from the workshop, it was a good overview and reference book that I will undoubtedly use a lot. The content is very straightforward and easy to absorb.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great book on how to think about why, how and what to present
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