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Data Visualisation


Andy Kirk

Essential new edition


Andy Kirk - Data Visualisation 2e Cover


Voted one of the "six best books for
data geeks
" by The Financial Times

Paperback: £34.99 | $51.00
Hardback: £100 | $143.00
Ebook available

Data Visualisation, 2nd Edition (July 2019)

With over 200 images and extensive how-to and how-not-to examples, this new edition has everything students and scholars need to understand and create effective data visualisations.

Combining ‘how to think’ instruction with a ‘how to produce’ mentality, this book takes readers step-by-step through analysing, designing, and curating information into useful, impactful tools of communication.

With this book and its extensive collection of online support, readers can:

- Decide what visualisations work best for their data and their audience using the chart gallery

- See data visualisation in action and learn the tools to try it themselves

- Follow online checklists, tutorials, and exercises to build skills and confidence

- Get advice from the UK’s leading data visualisation trainer on everything from getting started to honing the craft.


andy kirk

Andy Kirk is a UK-based data visualisation specialist and author of Data Visualisation. He has been a freelance professional since founding Visualising Data Ltd in 2011 and has been the editor of award-winning website since 2010.

"I think we are probably just on the other side of a golden age – a period of rapid growth, of experimentation and of increased mainstream exposure... there’s probably a sense now of sense that quality over quantity is of greater importance, that explaining is perhaps more important than exploring, that rigor is more pressing than speed."


Sample extract


Wine regions

Fig 3.19: Detail from Grape Expectations, by S. Scarr, C. Chan and F. Foo (Reuters Graphics) 

"The visualisation in Figure 3.19 concerns the wine industry, showing the top grape varieties grown. In the upper part of the graphic, the size of production for each grape variety is shown using a bubble chart, which creates a metaphorical representation of a bunch of grapes.

You can clearly see how this design might have been conceived from early ideas formed before the data was even collected and analysed. Not only is the representation consistent with the subject, but it also offers an immediately recognisable metaphor. Any viewer will make a seamless connection between subject and form.

To help unlock your imagination it is useful to be influenced and inspired by the world around you. Exposing your senses to different sources of influence can only help to broaden the range of solutions you might be able to conceive. Research the techniques that are being used across the visualisation field, look through books and see how others might have tackled similar subjects portraying similar types of data. Outside of the visualisation sphere, consider other forms of design or imagery: colours, patterns, shapes and metaphors from everyday life whose aesthetic qualities you just like. Start a scrapbook or project mood board that compiles the sources of inspiration you come across and helps you form ideas about the style, tone or essence of your project. They might not have immediate value for your current project but may materialise as useful for future work.

It is important to acknowledge the boundaries of this activity. Influence and inspiration are healthy: the desire to emulate what others have done is understandable. Plagiarism, copying and stealing uncredited ideas are wrong. There are ambiguities in any creative discipline about the boundaries between influence and plagiarism, and the worlds of visualisation and infographic design are not spared that challenge."


Data Visualisation - A Game of Decisions with Andy Kirk

In this one hour webinar, Andy Kirk argues that the essence of effective data visualisation design is good decision-making. It is about knowing your options and understanding how to make your choices. By deconstructing the decisions demonstrated through case study examples, Andy illustrates the many little elements that make up the design anatomy of any data visualisation work.


Watch the webinar


The bestselling first edition


Data Visualisation (June 2016)

Never has it been more essential to work in the world of data. Scholars and students need to be able to analyze, design, and curate information into useful tools of communication, insight, and understanding.

This book is the starting point in learning the process and skills of data visualization, teaching the concepts and skills of how to present data, and inspiring effective visual design.

Praise for this edition

"In a clear and effective manner, Andy Kirk provides a comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of data and design that is well integrated into a practical visualization workflow."
Isabel Meirelles, Professor, Faculty of Design, OCAD University, Toronto

"Andy Kirk has managed to squeeze a lifetime of expertise on visualising data and telling stories using interactives into one easy-to-follow and beautifully illustrated book. For students and designers interested in creating interactive and stunningly crafted data visualisations this is a must read."
Tom Felle, Senior Lecturer, Journalism, City University London



SAGE Campus


Online course in data visualisation


Introduction to Data Visualisation

In this online course, you will master the principles for transforming your data into powerful visualisations, with a fresh, creative approach from data visualisation guru, Andy Kirk. The course is perfect for anyone looking to gain an accessible, broad and thorough conceptual understanding of contemporary data visualisation to enhance the creativity and impact of their research. Find out more and enroll on SAGE Campus.

Learn more

course syllabus