By @SimonCocking

Business dashboards matter. Why? Because they drive the decisions you make—or don’t make.

All organisations seek to monitor and analyse what’s going on with their customers, their employees, their market, and any other measures critical to running their business. In the process they gather lots of data, and they use dashboards to help them make sense of that data. Yet for most, the dashboards simply aren’t doing the job they’re supposed to do.

“Over the last few years, the BI industry has produced some amazing tools that allow mere mortals—people not steeped in database nor graphic design—to glean some incredible insights into organisational data,” says Steve Wexler, co-author along with Jeffrey Shaffer and Andy Cotgreave of The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios. “Yet people still need guidance on how to assemble these visuals into something cohesive that helps people make informed decisions.”

About the authors:

Steve Wexler has worked with ADP, Gallup, Deloitte, Convergys, Consumer Reports, The Economist, ConEd, D&B, Marist, Tradeweb, Tiffany, McKinsey & Company, and many other organizations to help them understand and visualize their data. Steve is a Tableau Zen master, Iron Viz champion, and training partner. To learn more, visit DataRevelations.com.

Jeffrey A. Shaffer is vice president of information technology and analytics at Recovery Decision Science and Unifund. He is also adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, where he teaches data visualization, and was named the 2016 Outstanding Adjunct Professor of the Year. To learn more, visit DataPlusScience.com.

Andy Cotgreave is technical evangelist at Tableau Software. He has over 10 years’ experience in data visualization and business intelligence, first honing his skills as an analyst at the University of Oxford. Since joining Tableau in 2011, he has helped and inspired thousands of people with technical advice and ideas on how to build a data-driven culture in a business. To learn more, visit GravyAnecdote.com.

Spoiler alert, we loved this book. No we weren’t paid to say this either! You’ve probably heard so much along the lines of ‘it’s all about the data’, whereas actually a better refinement might be, it’s all about what you do with the data, and even more importantly how you present the data. This book, and these authors know their stuff, and are really on top of all the different ways data can be sliced, diced and served up.

We are still visual creatures, in many ways you might say we are only moving more and more towards a visually driven society. We engage better with anything that has images, we want voice recognition, we want to be able to ‘see’ what we are being told. For those that can master data visualisation, great opportunities beckon. This is a smart, well written, colourfully visual handbook on how to deliver great visual data experiences. If you’re working in this area and looking for inspiration, ideas, variations on how to present data driven findings, this will be a great book to have on your desktop.


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