Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Edward Tufte, "Presenting Data and Information"

I attended Edward Tufte's "Presenting Data and Information" course this week. This course was on my To-Do list for too long, so I finally decided to attend. It helps that the course was held very close to home and only lasts one day. The course fee includes Tufte's four books: "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information", "Envisioning Information", "Visual Explanations", and "Beautiful Evidence". Overall, it was a good course and I recommend it to others.

The course topics included:
  • fundamental strategies of analytic design
  • evaluating evidence used in presentations
  • statistical data: tables, graphs, and semi-graphics
  • business, scientific, research, and financial presentations
  • complexity and clarity
  • effective presentations: on paper and in person
  • use of PowerPoint, video, overheads, and handouts
  • multi-media, internet, and websites
  • credibility of presentations
  • animation and scientific visualizations
  • design of computer interfaces and manuals

This is a non-technical course that provides valuable guidance to anyone working in a technical job. I found The (Six) Fundamental Principles of Analytical Design in "Beautiful Evidence" to be immediately helpful to some projects that I am working on. Once you read and understand the principles it just makes sense.


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