Stephen Few’s “Now You See It”

Nov 07, 2011

Following up on Tufte’s books, I finished reading Stephen Few’s Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis.

I found it to be more useful than Tufte books, which mostly consist of loosely tied stories. In contrast, Few has a much more methodical approach and discusses all types of information visualization. He also points to software to make the many visualizations that are presented: often Excel, but also Tableau Software, Spotfire, Panopticon, TimeSearcher and others.

Here’s the table of contents for my own reference.

  • Introduction
  • Part I. Building core skills for visual analysis
    • Information visualization
    • Prerequisites for enlightening analysis
    • Thinking with our eyes
    • Analytical interaction and navigation
    • Analytical techniques and practices
    • Analytical patterns
  • Part II. Honing skills for diverse types of visual analysis
    • Time-series analysis
    • Part-to-whole and ranking analysis
    • Deviation analysis
    • Distribution analysis
    • Correlation analysis
    • Multivariate analysis
  • Part III. Further thoughts and hopes
    • Promising trends in information visualization
    • Wisdom in the age of information