The Data Book ListNov 02, 2022
What books about data and data visualization should you read? Here's a list of books about data and data visualization, recommended by me and others in the Schilling Data Studio community.
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These books are about data, algorithms, and doing data science.
- Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil
- Read this book to learn about the issues with relying on algorithms and big data for decision making in society. Through multiple examples, you'll see the discrimination perpetuated by models and learn that turning to the computer for decisions does not improve fairness.
- Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism by Safiya Noble
- This book dives into data discrimination through the exploration of search engine results. It reveals important biases and the way racism and sexism permeate the online world and solutions.
- Data Feminism by Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein
- Read this book to learn a framework for doing data science ethically, informed by intersectional feminism. This important book explores power in the world of data and data science and provides important principles for working in data.
- Living in Data by Jer Thorp
- This book explores our relationship with data in the modern world. It includes many fascinating visualizations and explorations. Read this to gain insight into democratizing data, humanizing data, and the future of data.
- Analytics Interpreted: A Compilation of Perspectives by Rehgan Avon and Dave Cherry
- Read this collection of essays to get perspectives from women working across analytics. There are essays on inspiration, strategy, ethics, data availability, model preparation, data visualization and business intelligence, and case studies. I have a case study in this book about my work on creating dashboards on FAFSA completions in the state of Arizona.
Data Viz Principles and Design
These books cover important parts of data visualization design.
- The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics by Dona M. Wong
- This short guide provides the key principles you need to know to design good data visualizations. It's a quick read and a great reference when designing visuals.
- Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
- Read this to learn the foundations of communicating data well. This book includes guidelines for creating visualizations as well as tips for sharing your data in a clear and understandable way.
- Functional Aesthetics for Data Visualization by Bridget Cogley and Vidya Setlur
- This is a book for more experienced data visualizers. It combines theory and practice to create principles of functional aesthetics that support users in finding meaning in and engaging with visualizations. Read my full review here.
- The Truthful Art by Alberto Cairo
- Read this to get an in-depth guide to creating informative and effective visualizations. This book contains many excellent examples of data viz and lays out the key ideas you need to know to communicate data well.
- The Big Picture by Steve Wexler
- This is another great foundational book. It's aimed at business professionals who work with data and is filled with examples. Read this to learn how to use data visualizations to analyze, explore, and communicate data.
- Questions in Dataviz by Neil Richards
- Read this for an engaging exploration of data visualization questions. This is a great book to read if you're familiar with some of the data viz best practices and want to dive deeper into them. It's also a great source of inspiration as it's filled with examples. Read my full review here.
Data Viz Inspiration
These books are sources of inspiration and design ideas.
- W.E.B. Du Bois's Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America by Britt Rusert and Whitney Battle-Baptiste
- This book contains the complete publication of W.E.B. Du Bois's charts and infographics presented at the 1900 Paris World Fair. It's a wonderful exploration of historical data viz that explain the Black experience in America during the time.
- Dear Data by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec
- Get this for a gorgeous collection of hand drawn postcards that visualize the everyday lives of Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec over the course of a year.
- Making with Data by Samuel Huron, Till Nagel, Lora Oehlberg, Wesley Willett
- This book compilation of work by artists, designers, and scientists who use data to inform their creation physical objects or experiences. Read my full review here.
- Am I Overthinking This? by Michelle Rial
- A little book of visualizations about life's little questions. This is a fun book to flip through and a good reference of inspiration.
- Star Wars Super Graphic by Tim Leong
- Get this for fun visualizations about Star Wars and some inspiration for your data viz.
Data Viz How-To
These books provide guidance on how to create visualizations in different tools.
- Data Sketches by Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu
- Read this for inspiration and gorgeous data visualizations as well as the details of the process and tools Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu used to complete 24 different visualization projects.
- Tableau Desktop Cookbook by Lorna Brown
- This guide to using Tableau is great for both beginners and experienced users. Read it to learn how to create dashboards in Tableau with ease.
- Observe, Collect, Draw by Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec
- This visual journal provides guidance and plenty of space to draw to practice observing and collecting data on yourself and then drawing it to create your own visualizations.
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