August 16, 2018


Effectively Use Charts, Graphs, And Images To Understand Your Data, Reveal Insights, and Communicate Your Findings With Evidence


Data visualization is an essential skill in today’s data-driven world. Almost every aspect of our daily routine generates data: the steps we take, the movies we watch, the goods we purchase, and the conversations we have. Much of this data is stored waiting for someone to make sense of it. 


In DATA VISUALIZATION MADE SIMPLE: Insights Into Becoming Visual, information systems professor Kristen Sosulski, who is the Director of the Learning Science Lab for NYU Stern, provides a step-by-step approach to developing data visualization literacy. The strategies in the book show how to present clear evidence of findings to an audience and tell engaging stories through data visualization.


With foundations rooted in statistics, psychology, and computer science, data visualization offers practitioners in every field a coherent way to share findings from original research, big data, learning analytics, and more. Through case studies and interviews with practitioners from a variety of fields, DATA VISUALIZATION MADE SIMPLE demonstrates how people and organizations use charts, graphs, and images to make decisions, communicate findings, and spark discussions.



In the book, Sosulski:


Describes popular software, platforms, and programming languages used to visualize data

Presents over 30 types of charts and the insights that they portray

Describes visual data exploration methods

Offers practical tips for telling stories with data that will resonate with an audience

Offers tactics for designing and delivering data presentations, along with common pitfalls and how to avoid them


She shows how to select the right data visualization tool for a given project:


Productivity applications (Microsoft Excel, Apple iWork, Google Charts)


Data visualization software (Tableau, ArcGIS)


Business intelligence software (IBM Watson Analytics, SAS, Microsoft PowerBI)


Data visualization programming languages (R, Python, JavaScript)


Understanding data and making it clear for others via data graphics is the art of becoming visual. “Make it easy for your audience to interpret the key insights from your charts,” says Sosulski. “Find ways to connect with your audience through discussion, questions, surveys, and building on their prior knowledge. Remember, you know your data. It’s your job to help others understand it.”


Sosulski presents four principles for maximizing the effectiveness of data visualization:


Understand what the data means and double check that calculations are correct

Communicate to the audience the main point or key conclusion that the presenter wants them to remember

Take the time to explain the chart elements to the audience

Use graphics that clearly communicate a clear takeaway for the audience


Data visualization can help make access to data equitable. Graphics with dashboard displays and/or web-based interfaces can promote decision making throughout an organization.


Readers will learn how to choose from among the different graphic types to best communicate data and ideas, including:










For creatives, educators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders, DATA VISUALIZATION MADE SIMPLE will serve as a guide and reference to becoming visual with data.

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About The Author

Dr. Kristen Sosulski is Clinical Associate Professor of Information, Operations & Management Sciences in the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University, where she teaches MBA students and executives data visualization, computer programming and business analytics. She is also Director for the Learning Science Lab for NYU Stern, where she develops immersive face-to-face and online learning experiences to advance business school education.


As a leading expert on data visualization, Sosulski regularly consults, delivers seminars, and leads workshops on data visualization techniques and best practices. Her passion for technology and learning sciences converges in all facets of her career, inside and outside of the classroom.

For more information, please visit

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