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Training: Core Principles of Data Visualization

Data visualization, or the visual representation of data, plays a crucial role for researchers and analysts. Organizations tasked with producing, releasing, and analyzing large amounts of data can more effectively analyze and communicate their work by understanding how to better visualize their data. Often, however, visualizing research results is an afterthought, secondary to the analysis, which limits the effective relay of information.

In this workshop—split into two half-day sessions—attendees will learn how to communicate their data and analysis using more effective data visualizations. The morning session (9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.) includes an overview of data visualization, introductions to graphic types and purposes, and an overview of best practices and strategies to creating effective visualization types. In this interactive session, attendees will work in small groups to discuss data visualizations and different graph types. Attendees will receive copies of the instructor’s Graphic Continuum project and book Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks.

In the afternoon session (1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.), attendees will learn advanced techniques to create better data visualizations in Microsoft Excel. In this hands-on session, attendees will work with Excel to create visualizations and extend the tool’s capabilities. Attendees will receive a copy of the instructor’s e-book A Step-by-Step Guide to Advanced Data Visualization in Excel.


Jonathan Schwabish, senior fellow at the Urban Institute and founder of PolicyViz, will lead the workshop. Schwabish is an economist, writer, teacher, and creator of policy-relevant data visualizations. He is a leading voice for clarity and accessibility in how researchers communicate their findings. His book Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks helps people improve the way they prepare, design, and deliver data-rich content. He is on Twitter @jschwabish.


This event requires purchased tickets. A discount is available for attending both workshops. Discounts are also available for students with a .edu email account; nonprofit organizations with a .org account; and group purchases. Please contact the instructor directly at [email protected].

Date & Time Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Urban Institute 2100 M Street NW
5th floor
Washington , DC , 20037
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  • Senior Fellow