The first person who exposed me to best practices in data visualization was Stephen Few. I had the good fortune to take a one day Data Visualization class from him in 2007 at TDWI in San Diego. Stephen’s company is called Perceptual Edge.
Stephen founded Perceptual Edge as a consultancy that was established to help organizations learn to design simple information displays for effective analysis and communication. With 25 years of experience as an innovator, consultant, and educator in the fields of business intelligence and information design, Stephen is now a leading expert in data visualization for data sense-making and communication.
He writes a quarterly Visual Business Intelligence Newsletter, speaks and teaches internationally, and provides design consulting. In 2004, he wrote the first comprehensive and practical guide to business graphics entitled Show Me the Numbers, in 2006, he wrote the first and only guide to the visual design of dashboards, entitled Information Dashboard Design, and in 2009 he wrote the first introduction for non-statisticians to visual data analysis, entitled Now You See It.
With that introduction to Stephen Few, I wanted to provide you a link to his web site and his review of Tableau 8. Here is a brief snippet of Stephen’s review.
“I’ve seen it happen many times, but it never ceases to sadden me. An organization starts off with a clear vision and an impervious commitment to excellence, but as it grows, the vision blurs and excellence gets diluted through a series of compromises. Software companies are often founded by a few people with a great idea, and their beginnings are magical. They shine as beacons, lighting the way, but as they grow, what was once clear becomes clouded, what was once firm becomes flaccid, and what was once promising becomes just one more example of business as usual.”