»Me, myself and BI«

Bissantz ponders

Friday, August 8th, 2008

Stacking is out

People often use stacked charts to compare components – but the effect rarely works. Learn why that is and what alternatives are available.

Friday, July 25th, 2008

The demise of decograms

We have already bid our farewell to business charts. Now, it’s time to say goodbye to “decograms”. Why? Some recent examples from publications like Spiegel and Focus give us enough good reasons.

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Pimp my chart, Bill!

Graphical elements are supposed to focus your attention on what is important. What they actually show, however, is often misleading. How can you avoid embarrassing mistakes? For starters, just steer clear of Excel chart wizards.

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Why dense information makes us smarter

What else can we gain from all the extra space won through compact charts and information-dense visualizations? Insight, of course!

Friday, February 1st, 2008

An arrow is no plus sign!

When managers and statistics collide, less is often more. In general, however, there are not enough statistics in data visualizations. The only requirement is that they need to be robust.

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Death to business charts!

Dense, straightforward charts are rare. As a student, I was amazed how the graphic designers at management consultancies worked with such meticulous detail. Years later, I am convinced that we simply have to bid standard business charts farewell. They will die out slowly but surely…or to word that a bit more positively, they will be replaced by efficient graphical tables. All we need to do is follow twelve simple steps…

Friday, December 14th, 2007

Surveying is not analyzing

Presenting information in the context of space often goes awry. It’s so easy to manipulate the reader. Even though maps are nice to look at, it is not easy to create visualizations that are suitable for analysis. The New York Times provides some interesting examples.

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Beautiful evidence for debating executive salaries

Management salaries are a hot topic nowadays. The usual “evidence”, however, is either manipulated in one direction or the other. Good information design can help make the discussion more objective. The New York Times shows how.

Friday, September 21st, 2007

Can we steer banks like cars?

Sachsen LB could have at least tried to. Their board of directors trusted a few traffic lights. They were usually green, but now all German taxpayers see is red.

Friday, September 14th, 2007

Sure-fire ways to spoil data, Part II

And if that weren’t enough, Howard Wainer has a few more tips that are guaranteed to drive your chart consumers crazy!


Death to business charts!
Why business charts must die

Graphic tables
Lay back and control

Industrial reporting
Production-like efficiency for management reporting

Can we drive companies
like we do cars?

Against dashboards, speedometers and traffic lights in Controlling

Business Intelligence 2.0
modest, serious, sincere

Rediscovering slowness
Sparklines make us John Franklins in management information.

Good reporting is boring
Looking for excitement?
Try a night on the town instead.

Are sports fans smarter
than managers?

Management reports need to become more dense and dashboards more rare

The myth of data mining
Why men don't buy beer and diapers at the same time.

Numerical blindness?
I wouldn't see a doctor, if I were you.