Thursday, August 4, 2011

Back from Tufte

I spent the day yesterday attending Dr. Edward Tufte's excellent course/seminar/inspirational speech "Presenting Data and Information". Attend this course if you get a chance.
Making a presentation is a moral act as well as an ethical and intellectual act.
You'd do well to remember that as a BI developer. EVERYTHING you develop is a presentation. A report, a database table, a fancy dashboard, are all presentations and all tell a story. They become an attempt at concert between what you built (the system), and the user. Now that we've elevated reporting to a moral level, Dr. Tufte urges us to address the content ('do whatever it takes to show the content') with the moral weight of the previous statement. Therefore,
The presentation stands and falls on the quality, relevance, and integrity of the content.
Dr. Tufte is an engaging speaker and I came away with pages of quotes and notes to share. But it seems the blogosphere has done it already (also it seems this course hasn't changed much in a year), check out this post for most of the gems I wrote down during this course. So I can quote ET quoting TS Elliott, "Talent imitates, but genius steals".

A day with edward Tufte

Tufte Design Principals

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