Creating More Effective Graphs

Creating More Effective Graphs

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A succinct and highly readable guide to creating effective graphs The right graph can be a powerful tool for communicating information, improving a presentation, or conveying your point in print. If your professional endeavors call for you to present data graphically, here's a book that can help you do it more effectively. Creating More Effective Graphs gives you the basic knowledge and techniques required to choose and create appropriate graphs for a broad range of applications. Using real-world examples everyone can relate to, the author draws on her years of experience in graphical data analysis and presentation to highlight some of today's most effective methods. In clear, concise language, the author answers such common questions as:* What constitutes an effective graph for communicating data?* How do I choose the type of graph that is best for my data?* How do I recognize a misleading graph?* Why do some graphs have logarithmic scales? In no time you'll graduate from bar graphs and pie charts to graphs that illuminate data like:* Dot plots* Box plots* Scatterplots* Linked micromaps* Trellis displays* Mosaic plots* Month plots* Scatterplot matrices ...most of them requiring only inexpensive, easily downloadable software. Whether you're a novice at graphing or already use graphs in your work but want to improve them, Creating More Effective Graphs will help you develop the kind of clear, accurate, and well-designed graphs that will allow your data to be understood.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 424 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.1 x 25.4mm | 567g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • John Wiley & Sons Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 047127402X
  • 9780471274025
  • 1,620,456

Review quote

"She adopts a bookbook format providing hints on graphs in one, two and more dimensions, scales, visual clarity and so on...the page design- with half of every page blank - is refreshingly easy on the eyes. Inclusion of examples is generous." (Junk Charts 2008) "...deserves to be on the desk of every researcher and postgraduate student..." (Current Science, September 2006) "...a valuable teaching resource." (Statistical Methods in Medical Research, February 2006) "...the author has managed to accomplish what most technical people have been unable to do before--make graphs fun...you'll never look at any graph, the same way again." (OnceWritten.com) "Novice and experienced graph designers alike, as well as many individuals ultimately responsible for reading graphs, will benefit from reading this book." (Technical Communication, November 2005) "Using real-world examples, Robbins draws on her years of experience in graphical data analysis and presentation to highlight some of today's most effective methods." (Bryn Mawr Alumnae Bulletin, Summer 2005)show more

Back cover copy

A succinct and highly readable guide to creating effective graphsThe right graph can be a powerful tool for communicating information, improving a presentation, or conveying your point in print. If your professional endeavors call for you to present data graphically, here's a book that can help you do it more effectively. "Creating More Effective Graphs" gives you the basic knowledge and techniques required to choose and create appropriate graphs for a broad range of applications. Using real-world examples everyone can relate to, the author draws on her years of experience in graphical data analysis and presentation to highlight some of today's most effective methods.In clear, concise language, the author answers such common questions as: What constitutes an effective graph for communicating data?How do I choose the type of graph that is best for my data?How do I recognize a misleading graph?Why do some graphs have logarithmic scales?In no time you'll graduate from bar graphs and pie charts to graphs that illuminate data like: Dot plotsBox plotsScatterplotsLinked micromapsTrellis displaysMosaic plotsMonth plotsScatterplot matrices. . . most of them requiring only inexpensive, easily downloadable software.Whether you're a novice at graphing or already use graphs in your work but want to improve them, "Creating More Effective Graphs" will help you develop the kind of clear, accurate, and well-designed graphs that will allow your data to be understood.show more

Table of contents

Preface. 1. Introduction. 1.1 What we mean by an Efficient Graph. 1.2 General Comments. 1.2.1 Captions. 1.2.2 The Data we Plot. 2. Limitations of Some Common Charts and Graphs. 2.1 Pie Charts. 2.2 Charts with 3-D Effect. 2.3 Bar Charts: Stacked and Grouped. 2.4 Difference Between Curves. 2.5 Bubbled Plot. 3. Human Perception and Our Ability to Decode Graphs. 3.1 Elementary Graphical Perception Tasks. 3.2 Ordered Elementary Tasks. 3.3 Role of Distance and Detection. 4. Some More Effective Graphs in One or Two Dimensions. 4.1 Distribution of One Variable. 4.1.1 Strip Plots. 4.1.2 Dot Plots. 4.1.3 Histograms. 4.1.4 Jittering. 4.2 Comparing Distributions: Boxplots. 4.3 Relationship of Two Variables: Scatterplots. 4.4 Time Series. 4.5 Line Graphs. 5. Trellis Display and Other Ways to Display More than Two Variables. 5.1 Alternative Presentations of Three Variables. 5.1.1 Stacked Bar Chart. 5.1.2 Labeled Scatterplot. 5.1.3 Trellis Display. 5.2 More Than Three Variables. 5.2.1 Superposed Data Sets. 5.2.2 Trellis Multipanel Displays. 5.2.3 Scatterplot Matrices. 5.2.4 Mosaic Plots. 5.2.5 Linked Micromaps. 5.2.6 Parallel Coordinate Plots. 5.2.7 Nightingale Rose. 5.2.8 Financial Plot. 6. General Principles for Creating Effective Graphs. 6.1 Terminology. 6.2 Visual Clarity. 6.2.1 Clarity of Data. 6.2.2 Clarity of Other Elements. 6.3 Clear Understanding. 6.4 General Strategy. 7. Scales. 7.1 Aspect Ratio. 7.2 Must Zero be Included? 7.3 When to Use Logarithmic Scales. 7.4 Scale Breaks. 7.5 Using Two Y Scales. 7.6 Data Hidden in the Scales. 7.7 Other Principles Involving Scales. 8. Applying What We've Learned: Before and After Examples. 8.1 Grouped Bar Chart. 8.2 Ten Small Graphs. 8.3 Radar Chart. 8.4 Multiple Pie Charts. 8.5 Tables. 9. Some Comments on Software. 9.1 Statistical Software: The S Language. 9.2 Drawing Programs: Illustrator. 9.3 Spreadsheets: Excel. 9.3.1 Moving an Axis in Excel. 9.3.2 Line Charts with Uneven Time Intervals. 9.3.3 Dot Chart from Excel. 9.3.4 Data Labels in Excel. 10. Questions and Answers. 1. When Should I Use a Table and When Should I Use a Graph? 2. Should I Use Different Graphs for Presentations and for Written Reports 3. How Do Graphs for Data Analysis and Graphs for Communication Differ? 4. What Should I Use Instead of Pie Charts? 5. What If I Just Want an Impression of the Direction of the Data? Then May I Use 3-D Charts? 6. I Use 3-D Charts but I Included Data Labels. That's OK, Isn't It? 7. I Want my Graphs to Attract the Reader's Attention. How Should I decorate Them? 8. Why Do You Think We See so Many Bad Graphs? 9. When Should I Use each Kind of Graphs? Appendix A: Checklist of Possible Graph Defects. Appendix B: List of Figures with Sources. References. Index.show more

About Naomi B. Robbins

NAOMI B. ROBBINS, PhD, is President of NBR, a leader in consulting and training in graphical data presentation. A recognized expert in the field, she has spoken on the subject of creating effective graphs at universities including Columbia University and McGill University, professional societies such as the Society of Women Engineers and the Society for Technical Communication, and corporations and organizations that include Lockheed Martin, Brookfield Zoo, and the United Nations. She is an officer of the Statistical Graphics Section of the American Statistical Association and has served the New Jersey Chapter of the ASA as President. She was a statistician at Bell Laboratories before forming NBR.show more
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