2007 West Coast Visual Business Intelligence Workshop

Fort Mason

If you read my blog, but don’t subscribe to my newsletter or visit other parts of www.PerceptualEdge.com, you might not know that I will be offering my courses for the first time to the general public this June. Since I first began teaching data visualization courses in 2004, thousands of people in the America and Europe have attended them at conferences, universities, and in private sessions for individual organizations. Now anyone can attend and improve their data analysis and presentation skills. The 2007 West Coast Visual Business Intelligence Workshop will take place from June 5-7, 2007 at the Fort Mason Conference Center, right on the San Francisco Bay.

This workshop is designed for those who find themselves buried in numbers (statistics), struggling to understand what they mean and then present their findings to decision makers. Three separate courses will be offered at this workshop:

June 5, 2007: Table and Graph Design for Effective Communication

June 6, 2007: Dashboard Design for at-a-Glance Monitoring

June 7, 2007: Visual Data Analysis for Discovery and Understanding

Table and Graph Design for Effective Communication

The ability to communicate quantitative information effectively is not intuitive; it requires a set of skills that must be learned. Most quantitative information is presented in tables and graphs. Unfortunately, most are poorly designed—often to the point of misinformation. Why? Because almost no one, including specialists such as financial analysts and business intelligence professionals, have been trained in effective chart design. Based on my book, Show Me the Numbers (Analytics Press, 2004), I teach practical methods for presenting data accurately, clearly, and compellingly.

Dashboard Design for at-a-Glance Monitoring

Dashboard design is a timely topic. Dashboards—single screen displays of the most important information people must monitor to do their jobs—have become a popular means to rapidly assess what’s going on. Despite their potential, however, most dashboards perform poorly, because they present information poorly. As the author of Information Dashboard Design (O’Reilly Media, 2006), I know this topic well and teach simple design practices that enable dashboards to communicate clearly and meaningfully, at a glance.

Visual Data Analysis for Discovery and Understanding

Before you can present information effectively, you must understand it. Ninety percent of all business data analysis can be done using simple graphing techniques to discern meaningful patterns. These skills are easy to learn and apply with proper guidance and good software, but few people know them. This course will get you started.

To register for the workshop or to learn more about it, you may visit the Workshops page or call (510) 558-7400.

Take care,


2 Comments on “2007 West Coast Visual Business Intelligence Workshop”

By John. March 28th, 2007 at 6:22 pm

Hi Steve,

I’m very interested in attending these sessions, however, now I’m wondering if you might be offereing other sessions in my area in the future, to where I wouldn’t have to travel to San Fran. Do you have a list of locations or potential locations that you will be offereing training in 2007? I’m in Southern California (yeah, I know I’ll catch some flak from those outside of the state, but I know my company won’t pay for it unless it’s local) so of course I’m most interested in the Los Angeles, Orange County or San Diego areas.



By Stephen Few. March 29th, 2007 at 7:55 am

Hi John,

This being the first public offering of my courses, I am waiting to see how it goes before scheduling others. If all goes as expected, I plan to offer several workshops each year at various locations. One location will no doubt be in Southern California. Before coming to your area, however, workshops will probably take place in the east and middle of the country, so we’ll be into 2008 before I get closer to you than San Francisco.

I suggest that you be bold and tell your boss that the money you’ll save the company through increased productivity by attending the workshop in June will far outstrip the cost of the flights and hotel.

Take care,