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Now You See It

One-day workshop

Detailed course description

While many people assume that data analysis requires advanced statistical knowledge, the reality is that 90% of day-to-day analytical needs that arise in organizations can be met using simple, visual techniques.

Designed by Stephen Few, updated by Nick Desbarats, and based on the book of the same name, Now You See It equips workshop participants with the skills needed to explore data to discover valuable new insights and answer the most common types of analytical questions using  simple yet powerful graph types and data visualization techniques.

Who should attend this workshop

Anyone who is --or would like to be-- responsible for making sense of data, finding useful insights and meaning within it, and quickly answering the most common types of analytical questions that arise within organizations. While business, financial and data analysts obviously fall within this group, workshop participants often include people from all parts of the organization, including finance, marketing, sales, human resources and operations. Other professionals, such as researchers, journalists, health care providers and educators will also benefit.

No special knowledge or skills are required in order to attend this workshop, although participants should have experience creating simple charts using popular data visualization software products.

Key topics

  • Fundamentals of visual perception and how they apply to visual data analysis
  • Desirable personality traits, knowledge and skills to bring to analysis tasks
  • Visual patterns in data that are often meaningful
  • Simple yet powerful graph types and visual techniques for performing the most common types of data analysis:
    • Time series
    • Distribution
    • Geospatial
    • Correlation
    • Ranking and part-to-whole
    • Multivariate
  • The analytical navigation process and the important role of interactivity
  • Critical contributions from the research community

Topics not covered

  • This is not a software product training course. The techniques taught can used with most major, modern visual data analysis software products.
  • While some basic statistical concepts are covered, this is not a course on statistics.
  • Statistical methods and other non-visual data analysis techniques are not discussed.

Workshop format

The workshop consists of engaging, interactive presentation segments that feature realistic scenarios, as well as a group exercise wherein participants apply recently learned skills by identifying how different views of the same data can answer different analytical questions. No computers or software are used. The workshop lasts one full day, with morning, lunch and afternoon breaks. At the end of the workshop, each participant receives a copy of Stephen Few’s book, Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis, on which the workshop is based.

To take this workshop