A powerful 200-year-old form of data viz

Image for post
Image for post

Sparklines are part of what’s considered the “first wave of data viz,” centered around the work of Edward Tufte, who emphasized clarity, simplicity, and direct one-to-one mapping of data points through the six principles outlined in his book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. They are as follows:

  1. The representation of numbers, as physically measured on the surface of the graphic itself, should be directly proportional to the numerical quantities measured.
  2. Clear, detailed, and thorough labeling beat graphical distortion and ambiguity. Write out explanations of the data on the graphic itself. Label important events in the data.
  3. Show data variation, not design variation. …

Image for post
Image for post

I know that I had promised to write about the “waterfall” chart as part of making a series on Getting Started: The What, Where, Why & How of Data Visualisation. But I must thank Elijah Meeks for inspiring me to write about small multiples instead through his article — The 3 waves of data visualization. He had explained how the first wave of data visualization was centred around the work of Edward Tufte who had emphasized clarity and simplicity. And this had motivated me to write this article.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Olav Ahrens Røtne on Unsplash

When I started my career I was curious to understand the 3 W’s — What, Why and Where — of dataviz. Now, after enabling multiple businesses in India to consume data through visualisation, I have found a few fairly convincing answers that may help someone getting started in their data visualisation career. Let’s dive in:

‘What’ is Data Visualisation?

Google search’s top result for: what is data visualization
What Tableau had to say:
what is data visualization
What SAS had to say:
Data visualization: What it is and why matters

Okay, that was too much marketing content, mostly about the importance of a specific dataviz tool. Great content for a sales executive. But none of these would help a newbie getting into dataviz to understand the basic question: — “what” is dataviz. …


As we approach our final study session @ School of Inspired Leadership, it is a perfect time for my second article !

I must agree that, few of the most valuable hours spent amidst all the learned people on Mondays have been exemplary

Image for post
Image for post

It would be really bad on my part if I don’t share such valuable takeaways from a wonderful book which we co-read this entire year “Self Unfoldment” by Swami Chinmayananda

I must also admit that, it’s not just a spiritual book. …

It’s almost the end of my post graduate program @ School of Inspired Leadership in Gurgaon

I had noticed this nondescript tennis court nearby 3 months back. Trying to become an earnest student, I became an erstwhile tennis player. Ahem, enough of maudlin !

I finally exhorted myself to become an earnest tennis player yet again, after almost 5 long years (Thanks for the inspiration from my mentor, Mr. Arun Kumar who plays golf !). Playing tennis is one thing which I have been missing for so long !

Image for post
Image for post

I went to the tennis court and had a chat with the coach and quickly sealed a deal. Voilà, in the next couple of minutes, I stood dazzled on the court as I started playing after chumming up with a couple of students ! …


Krishna P

Analytics Consultant @TigerAnalytics | Formerly @Gramener | Data-driven leadership: Enabling businesses to consume data and get value out of it

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store