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Code to create slides for one-day Data Visualization with Excel class
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A half-day course for up to 20 employees covering the key concepts of how to create truthful and visually-compelling visualizations of important data. The course will cover how to create impactful charts, graphs, and other information visualizations in order to effectively communicate critical analysis to decision-makers, policymakers, and other key stakeholders.

Slides are available here.


  • Introduce the fundamentals of information visualization design
  • Introduce key terminology as it relates to information visualization design
  • Discuss the application of design principles to the visualization of government open data
  • Discuss best practices of information visualization design as they relate to the work of government open data
  • Practice creating impactful charts, graphs, and other visualizations to communicate information


  • Participants will understand the basics of information visualization design and how to select the best chart for the data they're working with
  • Participants will be familiar with key terminology and concepts of information visualization design as they relate to government open data
  • Participants will understand how to create meaningful and visually-compelling charts in Excel using government open data
  • Participants will be practiced in applying the principles of good information visualization design to their work


  • Introductions
  • Discussion
    • Why do we visualize data?
    • Visualization examples
  • Lecture 1
    • Common chart types
    • Anatomy of a chart
    • Common terms
  • Practical Exercise 1
    • A quick Excel primer
    • Guided charting exercise
  • Lecture 2
    • Color and design of charts
    • Chart junk
  • Practical Exercise 2
    • Guided design and layout exercise
  • Group project
    • A group exercise to apply the principles discussed in the class with a real-world data set
  • Presentations
    • Students present visualizations to class
    • Receive constructive feedback from students and instructors
  • Wrap-up
    • Review of topics
    • Resources for more information
  • Evaluations and Dismissal
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