Perceptual Edge is a consultancy that was established to help organizations like yours learn to design simple information displays for effective analysis and communication.

Photo of Stephen Few
Stephen Few, Founder & Principal

Perceptual Edge was founded by me, Stephen Few, in 2003. It will probably always be a company of one or two, which for me is the perfect size. With 25 years of experience as an innovator, consultant, and educator in the fields of business intelligence and information design, I am now a leading expert in data visualization for data sense-making and communication.

I write the quarterly Visual Business Intelligence Newsletter, speak and teach internationally, and provide design consulting. In 2004 I wrote the first comprehensive and practical guide to business graphics entitled Show Me the Numbers, now in its second edition. In 2006 I wrote the first and only guide to the visual design of dashboards, entitled Information Dashboard Design, also now in its second edition. In 2009 I wrote the first introduction for non-statisticians to visual data analysis, entitled Now You See It.

My Clients

Education
University of California, Berkeley
Stanford University
Oxford University
Purdue University
Emory University
University of Washington
University of Nebraska
Simon Fraser University
Stanford Research Institute
Stanford Management Company
ACT Inc.
Hogeschool of Amsterdam
Swiss Statistical Society
Aspire Public Schools
Apex Learning
MITRE Corporation
Technology Transfer

Government
Centers for Disease Control
NASA
U.S. Army
U.S. Navy
Internal Revenue Service
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. General Services Administration
National Institutes of Health
Comptroller of the Currency
National Center for Education Statistics
U.K. Public Health Observatory
Government of South Australia
Netherlands Statistics Bureau
California Public Utilities Commission
American Assn. for the Advancement of Science
City of Richmond, CA

Health Care
World Health Organization
Kaiser Permanente
Delta Dental
Genentech
McKesson
Health Foundation of Cincinnati
American College of Surgeons
Boston Scientific
Medtronic
QC Metrix
IMS Health
Martin's Point Health Care
Lucille Packard Children's Hospital
American Academy of Ophthalmology

Telecommunications
T-Mobile
Time Warner Cable
Ericsson
British Telecom

Consumer
Kraft Foods
Coldwater Creek

Insurance
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia

Energy
PG&E

Not for Profit
UNESCO
ProPublica

Technology
Cisco Systems
Microsoft
Apple
Intel
Facebook
eBay
Hewlett-Packard
Adobe
EMC
Salesforce.com
Teradata
Scientific Atlanta
Veritas Software
Siemens
TDWI
InfoHRM
Success Factors
Tableau Software
Spotfire
SAS Institute
Cognos
Noetix
Inova Solutions
Pilot Software
QlikTech
Hyperion Solutions
ProClarity Software
Panopticon
Actuate
Corda
Information Builders
XLCubed
BIS2
Centrifuge Systems
PureShare
Visual Engineering
Accept Software

Financial
Fannie Mae
Fidelity Investments
Wachovia Bank
Bank of Montreal
Capital Group
Buckingham Asset Management
Daruma Asset Management

Consulting
CB Richard Ellis
Analysis Group
marketingQED
Global Business Network
LMG
Altis Consulting
Affecto
Sherpa Consulting
Innogence
Inspari
KnowIT
BI Podium
DIKW

Transportation
Southwest Airlines
Port of Seattle

Others
Rio Tinto
Zynga
The Drees Company


Why Perceptual Edge?

The name Perceptual Edge has dual meanings; both capture an important aspect of what I do.

The more obvious of the two meanings is that my services are designed to give you an edge on perception to set you apart from others who are unable to make good use of their information.

The less obvious meaning comes from the study of visual perception, which explains that for us to see an object in the physical world as distinct from its surroundings, that object must have a perceptual edge—a visible demarcation that sets it apart and thereby makes it detectable. Much of what is meaningful in any organization's information is camouflaged; it blends in with its surroundings and therefore goes unnoticed. To bring it to light, you must know how to endow it with a perceptual edge.

Only when you can give meaningful information a perceptual edge can you achieve the edge on perception that will lead to understanding and wise decisions.