Stephen Few’s New Book: Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring, Second Edition

Information Dashboard Design: Displaying data for at-a-glance monitoring, Second Edition, Stephen Few, $40.00 (U.S.), Analytics Press, 2013

Stephen_FewThe second edition of Stephen Few’s seminal book, Information Dashboard Design, will be released on August 15, 2013. I have been waiting for this book for some time and am very excited about its pending release.

Here is a description of the book from

A leader in the field of data visualization, Stephen Few exposes the common problems in dashboard design and describes its best practices in great detail and with a multitude of examples in this updated second edition. According to the author, dashboards have become a popular means to present critical information at a glance, yet few do so effectively. He purports that when designed well, dashboards engage the power of visual perception to communicate a dense collection of information efficiently and with exceptional clarity and that visual design skills that address the unique challenges of dashboards are not intuitive but rather learned. The book not only teaches how to design dashboards but also gives a deep understanding of the concepts—rooted in brain science—that explain the why behind the how. This revised edition offers six new chapters with sections that focus on fundamental considerations while assessing requirements, in-depth instruction in the design of bullet graphs and sparklines, and critical steps to follow during the design process. Examples of graphics and dashboards have been updated throughout, including additional samples of well-designed dashboards.

Since I have not seen a copy of the book yet, here are some reviews from Alberto Cairo and others reviewers:

Don’t be misled by the title. This is not just a book about information dashboards, but arguably the most concise and information-dense treaty on how to present quantitative information by means of graphics. Among the many people who are currently writing about data visualization and infographics, Stephen Few is one of a kind, someone who can translate huge amounts of research in statistics, visual perception, cognition, and business intelligence into practical guidelines. Information Dashboard Design is, in this sense, a perfect blend of theory and practice.
Alberto Cairo, author of The Functional Art
Stephen Few is evidently a man of taste and wisdom. This volume speaks eloquently about common pitfalls and the path that avoids them. He performs a tremendous service of assimilating work by other greats and adding useful innovations of his own. If you appreciate great design and work with numbers, this will make you a hero. Rarely do you acquire expensive new skills as easily as you will by reading this book.
Skip Savage (from an review)
If you want a performance dashboard that helps you truly manage performance (and not just pretend to), read this book first. Then buy a copy for your dashboard developer, or hire a developer that already practices its principles.
Stacey Barr, The Performance Measure Specialist
The most powerful designs are the ones we do not notice. The real power of designers and developers is in turning something incredibly complex into something amazingly simple. The challenge is not to add new features but to add value and power to products without adding any complexity. Design does not happen by accident. It is the product of careful and deliberate planning. Stephen Few demonstrates this through examples and best practices that are easy to understand and will improve how we display information. Businesses that value design will leap ahead because they will able to quickly assimilate information, efficiently focus time and efforts, and create alignment, agility and effectiveness. This book provides a running head start!
Eleanor Taylor, Strategist, SAS Institute

I look forward to the book and will provide an in-depth review once I read it. I am looking forward to reading about Stephen’s analysis of his dashboard contest he held last summer. Also, Stephen has introduced a few new visualizations I look forward to reading about and implementing in my bag of tricks.

Stay tuned.



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