Hello to St. Louis readers


I'll be hosting a Data Visualization workshop at the Digital Media Marketing Conference in St. Louis, Missouri on Thursday. Here is the link to their website.

The workshop is arranged from three themes: Appreciating, Conceptualizing, and Improving. There will be several hands-on exercises.

If you are a reader in St. Louis, and would like to meet up, email me.


Posting this week will be light because of various commitment. I may put something up later this week.

One of my students pointed me to this Medium article about a NYT chart. Well worth reading.


Upcoming Talks #DataViz #ABTesting

This is a cross-post to both my blogs.

Thanks to the ~200 or so people who showed up at last week's Data Scientist Meetup in Cambridge, Mass., hosted by John Baker. I gave a brief introduction to the concept of "numbersense", and was part of a panel of "chief data scientists" talking about how to run data teams. Thanks to those who asked questions.

This month, I am back in New York, and will be giving two talks.

DataviznewyorkFirst up is the Data Visualization New York Meetup organized by Paul Trowbridge. The link to register is here but it looks like all slots have been taken within days. You should get on the wait list as some registrants will eventually drop out. This event is on Aug 20 (Wed).









Roadshow_main_v4_6-25-14_02On Aug 26 (Tues), I am giving the "thought leader" presentation for the Optimizely Experience. I will be talking about statistical testing for online marketing aka A/B testing. The title of the talk is "Five Questions About Testing You Wanted to Ask But Didn't" unless I come up with something better. You can register here.

This will be a brand-new presentation, and I look forward to sharing my ten-plus years of running online experiments. See you there!




Also, please let the organizers at SXSW know you want to hear me and other data viz experts talk about visualizing data in Austin. Jon Schwabish has put together a fabulous panel with people from different parts of the spectrum, and it promises to be an engaging conversation.

To hear us, you have to vote for our panel. The voting starts today. Here is the link to the voting site (updated link), and here is our pitch on Slideshare. Thank you!





Update: Talk in NYC

What snow? The talk is happening. For those who can't come, they have live streaming: http://livestream.com/NYViz.

I'm the second speaker, probably starting around 8 pm EST. The presentation will eventually make its way here.


Here is the presentation (5.9M PDF).

The topic is word clouds (tag clouds, Wordle). I think this new chart type (circa 2000s) has a lot of potential. Software like Wordle has made it extremely popular; Wordle is amazingly easy to use. It is most often used to summarize text documents, such as speeches. This usage has turned it mainstream but should not restrict our imagination of other use cases.

However, the developments since 2005 when I first wrote about word clouds have been disappointing. Wordle has made it easy to turn out chartjunk (crazy colors, "dis" orientation, etc.). In this presentation, I lay out a set of improvements that can help realize the potential of this chart type. They are all based on statistical principles, which is the underlying theme of the talk: that when we design charts, even the apparently artistic decisions can be made by appealing to logical or scientific or statistical concepts.

There were a lot of questions, and I couldn't get to all of them. Feel free to continue the conversation here in the comments.