How to choose a chart type (it's trickier than you think...)



July 24, 1:00-2:00 p.m. ET

How to choose a chart type (it's trickier than you think...)

When designing a data visualization, one of the trickiest – and yet most consequential – design choices is choosing a chart type. While less experienced chart creators tend to believe that this decision can be made based on simple rules of thumb (e.g., "to show data over time, use a line chart," "to show the breakdown of a total, use a pie chart," etc.), more experienced chart creators know that it's more complex and nuanced than that; they may even believe that it’s a skill that can only be developed after years of practice and experience.

In this Statistically Speaking, globally recognized data visualization instructor and best-selling author Nick Desbarats shows examples of decision tools from his "Practical Charts" course that allow chart creators of any experience level to quickly and reliably make expert-level chart choices from among 50 common types.

Q&A with the speaker will be available at the conclusion of the keynote.

What you’ll learn

  • The complexities of displaying data effectively in the form of a chart.
  • How to select and create chart types that best fit your data.
  • The value of using various types of charts in your data visualizations.

Meet the speaker

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Nick Desbarats

Independent Educator and Author, Practical Reporting Inc.

As an independent educator and best-selling author, Nick Desbarats has helped thousands of professionals become true data visualization and dashboard design pros. He’s delivered hundreds of workshops in over a dozen countries at organizations such as NASA, Bloomberg, Visa, The United Nations, Shopify, and the Internal Revenue Service.

Nick is the author of the Amazon #1 New Release, Practical Charts (2023), as well as the upcoming Practical Dashboards (2024). He regularly contributes articles to The Journal of the Data Visualization Society (Nightingale) that are among that publication’s most widely read and shared. He is a frequent main-stage presenter at such conferences as Tableau Conference, TDWI World Conference, JMP Explorers, Data Innovation Summit, and others; he has also lectured at Yale University, the University of Toronto, and the Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand).

Nick was the first and only educator to be authorized by Stephen Few to deliver his foundational data visualization and dashboard design workshops, which he taught from 2014 until launching his own workshops in 2019. Prior to that, he held senior executive positions at several software companies and was a cofounder of BitFlash Inc., which raised over $20M in venture financing and was sold to OpenText Corporation. In 2012, Nick was granted a United States patent in the decision-support field.


After his talk, Nick will join Anne Milley for an extended discussion and Q&A.

Can’t get enough? Join JMP’s Mike Anderson on Aug. 1 for a Technically Speaking webinar on data visualization pitfalls, exploring tips and tricks for avoiding issues such as graph cramming, just showing the data, and data art vs. data visualization.