Art and Science of Data Visualization

"Data Visualization" has been an extremely active and popular topic for a few years - we can use Google's Timeline search feature to see the growth in interest since 1980: That local high in July of this year was due in no small part to David McCandless' Information is Beautiful talk at TED this past summer. It appeared in my RSS stream here, here, and here, so I got the hint, spent 18 minutes watching it, and got suitably jazzed…

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More Amazing Social Media Statistics

A follow-on from my last post; speaking of interesting Social Media statistics ... would you believe ... If Facebook were a country, it would be the world's 4th largest 80% of companies are using LinkedIn as their primary tool to find employees In 2009, Boston College stopped distributing e-mail addresses to incoming freshmen 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices 25% of search results for the world's Top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content Pretty amazing stuff…

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Low Tech SharePoint Hack: Project Status Indicator

I'm doing a little hacking in SharePoint that is pulling together a few ideas from the past: Keeping my tech skills sharp Knowing when to search for the answer (vs. stubbornly sticking with DIY) Communicating status tersely but effectively Apparently, I'm also trying to answer a question that is meaningful to many others, as it is used as an example in the Help files for Microsoft's online SharePoint guides, the add-on Web Parts we use here, and many other places.…

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Hacking the Google Chart API from Excel

a bit of code on a Saturday night ... I've written before about a simple way to measure and report IT value to the business - quantifying alignment with strategic initiatives¬† project spend in context. It all culminated with a single, simple slide - numbers, with some Tufte-esque Sparklines thrown in. Well, technologies come and go, and without going into the boring details, I've had to come up with a new way to generate the mini-bar charts along the left…

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Excel 2007 is a BOB system (Bag’O’Bugs)

I am getting seriously aggravated with the flighty behavior of Excel 2007. Yes, I acknowledge that the spreadsheets in question is quite complicated ... shared VBA modules in an XLA file database read/write using ADO array-manipulation for ranges of cells (see this post) lots of macro (VBA) logic to control look/feel of the tabs code to automatically insert formulae into cells ... and so on. However, some of the observed flightiness is specific to the UberSheet, while other weirdness happens…

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Linkfest: Data Visualization

I'm a long-time fan of effective visualizations, and I've often written about the effective use of visual information when making presentations or communicating complex information. I've subscribed to my share of blogs and feeds on the topic, and have amassed quite a backlog of interesting links ... presented here for your hyperlinking enjoyment ... Best Blogs information aesthetics - If you appreciate the good stuff when you see it, and like to see the best (to stimulate your own thinking),…

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The Innovation Generation and User Interfaces

I don't intend for all my posts about Millennials joining the workforce to be anti-youth. There are some significantly good things this new generation can bring to established organizations - ways of thinking that foster innovation and forward-progress in how organizations use information. For example, let's talk about user interfaces (UI). I'm not an old man, but I remember the advent of IBM's Common User Access standard. DOS-based computers and early GUIs introduced UI variety, and the resulting lack of…

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Optimizing the Wrong Part of Knowledge Management

I sat in on the report-out session from a kaizen event this week, and something occurred to me as I reviewed a ton of interesting findings in a very short time ... Best Practice Self-contained deliverables are the most powerful tools for knowledge knowledge transfer you can have in your organization. I'm talking about a document that stands on its own, and effectively communicates an idea without needing the author nearby to explain anything. The topic doesn't matter - conceptual…

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Project Status Dashboards Best Practice (and a PowerPoint trick)

For a simple, easily understood indication of project or task status, nothing beats the Traffic Light metaphor (Red / Yellow / Green). My IT organization is putting together standards for Project Status indicators in our PMO application; an interesting series of discussions and emails around the assignment of those Green / Yellow / Red (GYR) status lights ... Words: What do we display on the screen? Green / Yellow / Red means ... Good / Fair / Poor? Hmm, nobody…

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