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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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2. Visual Perception

A nice meal requires a little more than blending some random ingredients in a food processor. The same holds true in data visualization: The ability to manipulate geometric primitives and the retinal variables (as discussed in the previous chapter) is not enough to guarantee a “tasty” visual representation.

Throwing all the data into a chart and leaving software defaults unchanged is an unfortunate common practice—the visualization equivalent of cooking random ingredients with a food processor (you’ll find an example later on in Figure 2.14).

There is more to data visualization than that, and if you want to follow the optimal path, then you’re lucky, because the one you’ll naturally follow is the path of least resistance. ...

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