No man is an island
There is no better way to explain the nature of data but in the context of relationships.
We have enough data around us than ever in the story of the mankind, but we dont need more data specially if it’s not accompanied by the right skills to transform it in better data.
“Data at work” make focus in business visualization as a way to communicate complex information in a context of business, not using beautiful charts but effective charts… and off course, if your graphs are effective they also can be beautiful.
There are many aspects that can be considered relevant in this book, however I would like to make focus on: how to use visualizations in a work context, the presentation of several basic concepts during the first chapters and the practical approach of the book… One of the many concepts and ideas expressed along the introduction was:
Data visualization is not a science, it is a crossroad at which certain scientific knowlodge is used to justify and frame subjective choise.
How I read this book
When I started reading this book I hope to read it and at the same time do the exercises, but it has 400 pages with theory (good theory for someone who has zero idea about data visualization, with examples, and concepts) and practice (no easy charts, but practical examples like the graphs that you could use at work). So, first time I read it in order to understand the main ideas and principles about theory of data visualization, check the graphs and that it.
Second time I read with the spirit to understand each graph and to give a second thought to the theory read before.
Third time I read it while I used other data set and take the book as a theoretical and practical basis for my own visualizations.
That is the way that I worked for me. It is not an easy book, instead of it, it is a very useful and rewarded book, full of ideas for your own work. For moments it is a little wordy, but that is the way that the author found to present his ideas.
What about the companion site: dataatworkbook.com
I dont have more than words of acknowledgement about the companion site because for each of the chapter the author presents aditional and relevant information about concepts and ideas presented into the book.
During my second and third re-read of the book I started to visit the site, and I found a lot of information, ideas and research about each of the concepts presented in each chapter. And in most of the cases practical implementations created by The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and some many diferents sources.