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Data at Work: Best practices for creating effective charts and information graphics in Microsoft® Excel® by Jorge Camões

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1. The Building Blocks of Data Visualization

Imagine you’re in your living room reading a book. You look and see the TV, a fireplace, a few family pictures. A souvenir from a long-ago vacation draws your attention and makes you feel momentarily nostalgic. You shake off these feelings and return to your book.

In those fleeting moments, light reflected from the objects in the room entered your eyes and was converted into visual stimuli and sent to the brain. Your brain homed in on select stimuli to recognize and identify key objects (even that book over there partially covered by a newspaper) while ignoring others, and conjured up complicated feelings of wistful affection.

Now imagine that the book partially covered by the newspaper in our little ...

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