The HBR Guide to Making
Smarter, More Persuasive
Data Visualizations

About the Book

Dataviz today is where spreadsheets and word processors were in the early 1980s–on the cusp of changing how we work. Berinato lays out a system for thinking visually and building better charts through a process of talking, sketching, and prototyping. This book is much more than a set of static rules for making visualizations. It taps into both well-established and cutting-edge research in visual perception and neuroscience, as well as the emerging field of visualization science, to explore why good charts (and bad ones) create “feelings behind our eyes.” Along the way, Berinato also includes many engaging vignettes of dataviz pros, illustrating the ideas in practice. “Good Charts” will help you turn plain, uninspiring charts that merely present information into smart, effective visualizations that powerfully convey ideas.

A good visualization can communicate the nature and potential impact of information and ideas more powerfully than any other form of communication. For a long time “dataviz” was left to specialists–data scientists and professional designers. No longer. A new generation of tools and massive amounts of available data make it easy for anyone to create visualizations that communicate ideas far more effectively than generic spreadsheet charts ever could. What’s more, building good charts is quickly becoming a need-to-have skill for managers. If you’re not doing it, other managers are, and they’re getting noticed for it and getting credit for contributing to your company’s success. In “Good Charts,” dataviz maven Scott Berinato provides an essential guide to how visualization works and how to use this new language to impress and persuade.

Reviews

  • Static and busy Excel charts are a nonstarter in today's workforce. In this enlightening yet deeply practical book, Scott Berinato highlights the growing importance of data visualization literacy for a new generation of business intelligence. Written in an accessible style, Good Charts reveals new insights and best practices that will improve your understanding of visual data and help you create better charts yourself.

    Jack Parmer, CEO, Plotly

  • In today’s information-overloaded, disruptive, and culturally diverse world, the new language of business and commerce is visual. In this smart, timely, and exceptionally lucid book, Scott Berinato shows how to create meaningful and persuasive visuals that cut through the noise and connect with your target audience. An essential guide no matter what business you’re in.

    Steve J. Martin, coauthor, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

  • If you wish to be fluent in the modern world of data, then visualization is an essential language to be learned. Good Charts offers an in-depth approach to using that language to communicate clearly and effectively.

    Tim Brown, President and CEO, IDEO; author, Change by Design—

  • Data visualization isn’t a secret art, but a skill you can learn. In Good Charts, Scott Berinato demonstrates this, impressively distilling the history and mechanics of dataviz into a clear and powerful argument about the importance of understanding and making good charts in your own work. A must-have manual in today's workplace.

    Alex “Sandy” Pentland, cocreator, MIT Media Lab; author, Social Physics

  • Berinato is not afraid to confront myths and conventional wisdom peddled by some popular visualization gurus. At the same time, he provides needed history and introduces us to some of the best thinkers in the field. Most important, he gives us clear guidelines for producing effective displays. This eloquent book should be the entry point for anyone wanting to learn about data visualization.

    Leland Wilkinson, Vice President, Statistics, Tableau Software—

Jack Parmer, CEO, Plotly Steve J. Martin, coauthor, Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive Tim Brown, President and CEO, IDEO; author, Change by Design— Alex “Sandy” Pentland, cocreator, MIT Media Lab; author, Social Physics Leland Wilkinson, Vice President, Statistics, Tableau Software—

About Scott Berinato

About Scott Berinato

Scott Berinato is a self-described “dataviz geek” and a Senior Editor at Harvard Business Review. In addition to creating the successful “Vision Statement” department in the magazine, he has written and edited many articles for HBR and other top business and tech-related print and web.

Scott’s Tweets

@scottberinato June 29

The iPhone turns 20 today. This fun essay explains how Herbert Hoover almost crushed it @HarvardBiz https://t.co/ZReZITaF4G

@scottberinato June 26

RT @scottberinato: Using HBR's Meeting Cost Calculator, friend discovered a daily mtg cost almost $100,000 per year. "Not worth it." https:…

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