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Effective Data Visualization

This comprehensive how-to guide functions as a set of blueprints-supported by research and the author's extensive experience with clients in industries all over the world-for conveying data in an impactful way. The book covers the spectrum of graph types available beyond the default options, how to determine which one most appropriately fits specific data stories, and easy steps for making the chosen graph in Excel. Available with Perusall-an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more.
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Table of Contents

1. Our Backbone: Why We Visualize Why We Visualize When Visualization Is Harmful Which Chart Type Is Best? How to Use This Book Exercises Resources References2. When a Single Number Is Important: Showing Mean, Frequency, and Measures of Variability What Stories Can Be Told With a Single Number? How Can I Visualize a Single Number? How Can I Show Measures of Variability? Exercises Resources References3. How Two or More Numbers are Alike or Different: Visualizing Comparisons What Stories Can Be Told About How Two or More Numbers Are Alike or Different? How Can I Visualize How Two or More Numbers Are Alike or Different? Exercises Resources References4. How We Are Better or Worse Than a Benchmark: Displaying Relative Performance What Stories Can Be Told About How We Are Better or Worse Than a Benchmark? How Can I Visualize How We Are Better or Worse Than a Benchmark? Exercises Resources References5. What the Survey Says: Showing Likert, Ranking, Check-All-That-Apply, and More What Stories Can Be Told About What the Survey Says? How Can I Visualize What the Survey Says? Ranking Branching Visualizing Not Applicable or Missing Data Exercises Resources References6. When There Are Parts of a Whole: Visualizing Beyond the Pie Chart What Stories Can Be Told When There Are Parts of a Whole? How Can I Visualize the Parts of a Whole? Exercises Resources References7. How This Thing Changes When That Thing Does: Communicating Correlation and Regression What Stories Can Be Told About How This Thing Changes When That Thing Does? How Can I Visualize How This Thing Changes When That Thing Does? Exercises Resources References8. When the Words Have the Meaning: Visualizing Qualitative Data What Stories Can Be Told When the Words Have the Meaning? How Can I Visualize When the Words Have the Meaning? Exercises Resources References9. How Things Changed Over Time: Depicting Trends What Stories Can Be Told About How Things Changed Over Time? How Can I Visualize How Things Changed Over Time? Exercises Resources References10. It's About More Than the Buttons Dot Plots Generate Healthcare Pioneers Clearly Labeled Line Graphs Streamline Decisions at a Fortune 500 Diverging Stacked Bars Make for Community Leaders in the Midwest Icons Support Informed Policymaking Exercises Resources Reference

About the Author

Dr. Stephanie Evergreen is an internationally-recognized speaker, designer, and researcher. She is best known for bringing a research-based approach to helping researcher better communicate their work through more effective graphs, slides, and reports. She holds a PhD from Western Michigan University in interdisciplinary evaluation, which included a dissertation on the extent of graphic design use in written research reporting. Dr. Evergreen has trained researchers worldwide through keynote presentations and workshops, for clients including Time, Verizon, Head Start, American Institutes for Research, Rockefeller Foundation, Brookings Institute, and the United Nations. She is the 2015 recipient of the American Evaluation Association's Guttentag award, given for notable accomplishments early in a career. Dr. Evergreen is co-editor and co-author of two issues of New Directions for Evaluation on data visualization. She writes a popular blog on data presentation at Her books Presenting Data Effectively, first edition, and Effective Data Visualization, both hit #1 on Amazon bestseller lists.


This book is an excellent guide for creating innovative and intentional graphics that can frequently speak for themselves. Stephanie not only shows you how to create visually appealing charts and graphics, but she also explains why it matters. -- Mindy Hightower King Effective Data Visualization sets a new standard for the practical presentation data using Excel. It provides impressive graphics and hands on details on when and how to present them to various audiences. Any instructor who works with students seeking an advanced professional degree should consider adopting this text. -- Brian Frederick This run-to-read and easy-to-use book can boost your visual presentation by making it right to the point! -- Shun-Yung Kevin Wang I love this book. It opened me up to so many possibilities that I didn't know existed in Excel. The author really helps you build these skills though thoughtful exercises. She uses her real-world experience to open the "black-box" behind graphing techniques. I can't wait to use these skills for my next batch of research projects. The competition at the professional conferences will be amazed by our ninja skills. -- John O. Elliott Very approachable writing style, clear examples and instructions make this a "must-have" for anyone who has to present data. -- Thomas Cappaert This text brings data visualization in to the twenty-first century. It is a definitive guide for students and practitioners in presenting data with clarity and lucidity. -- David Boyns

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