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Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data [Paperback]

Stephen Few
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 3 2006 0596100167 978-0596100162 1

Dashboards have become popular in recent years as uniquely powerful tools for communicating important information at a glance. Although dashboards are potentially powerful, this potential is rarely realized. The greatest display technology in the world won't solve this if you fail to use effective visual design. And if a dashboard fails to tell you precisely what you need to know in an instant, you'll never use it, even if it's filled with cute gauges, meters, and traffic lights. Don't let your investment in dashboard technology go to waste.

This book will teach you the visual design skills you need to create dashboards that communicate clearly, rapidly, and compellingly. Information Dashboard Design will explain how to:

  • Avoid the thirteen mistakes common to dashboard design
  • Provide viewers with the information they need quickly and clearly
  • Apply what we now know about visual perception to the visual presentation of information
  • Minimize distractions, cliches, and unnecessary embellishments that create confusion
  • Organize business information to support meaning and usability
  • Create an aesthetically pleasing viewing experience
  • Maintain consistency of design to provide accurate interpretation
  • Optimize the power of dashboard technology by pairing it with visual effectiveness

Stephen Few has over 20 years of experience as an IT innovator, consultant, and educator. As Principal of the consultancy Perceptual Edge, Stephen focuses on data visualization for analyzing and communicating quantitative business information. He provides consulting and training services, speaks frequently at conferences, and teaches in the MBA program at the University of California in Berkeley. He is also the author of Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten. Visit his website at www.perceptualedge.com.


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About the Author

Stephen Few has over 20 years of experience as an innovator, consultant, and educator in the fields of business intelligence (a.k.a. data warehousing and decision support) and information design. Through his company, Perceptual Edge, he focuses on the effective analysis and presentation quantitative business information. Stephen is recognized as a world leader in the field of data visualization. He teaches regularly at conferences such as those presented by The Data Warehousing Institute (TDWI) and DCI, and also in the MBA program at the Haas School of Business at U. C. Berkeley. He is also the author of the book "Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten" (Analytics Press).


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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The eyes have it! Sept. 12 2010
Format:Paperback
Everyone knows about PSE (Picture Superiority Effect) and the Ink-to-data ratio. What few of us understand is the sheer computing power of the human eye. In terms of bandwidth, it is comparable to a computer network. (Hearing and nose have that of a hard disk and taste, the bandwidth of a mere pocket calculator)

When I read a report, I always look at the graphs first. If they do not talk to me, I do not dig for additional insight. The communication ends here.

I love books that give me actionable knowledge. Now, I will never endorse nor tolerate a dashboard that will look like a radar, smell like a gauge, act like a thermometer or taste like a pie chart with bright colors and special 3D effects. Why? Read this book!

Stephen Few also claims intellectual ownership of the powerful bullet graph. I have adopted it as such. The book is well illustrated and tackles the 'no-nos' before moving on to the craft of designing dashboards. The section on visual perception and Gestalt theory pleases both the heart and the mind.

As a manager, this book will show you how numbers take form.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read and reference Nov. 13 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a really great read. Not only does it help you understand what to do to design a great dashboard, it also tells you and shows you what not to do. Stephen Few's sense of humour is terrific, and he had me laughing throughout the book. I am currently designing a new dashboard for our area, and the tips I learned in this book have already been put to practical use. I know that our dashboard will be better off because of what I learned in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bonne introduction au sujet Aug. 15 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ce livre est une bonne introduction au sujet. Mais vous voudrez probablement posséder aussi un ou deux autres livres allant plus en profondeur.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Seeing is believing... Feb. 17 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Stephen Few bring you in the journey of visual perception in the Dashboard world, it covers the topic very effectively and wisely. He adopt the approach of "let see what doesn't work" instead of always showing only what works ( what works in some situation may not be working in other context anyway). Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My reference Dec 13 2011
Format:Paperback
This book is dense, effective, loaded with easy to use tips and tricks, and provide usefull examples of dos and donts. Ideal for people designing a dashboard for the first time
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