Essential Resources: The most influential visualisation books (part 3)

This is part of a series of posts to share with readers a useful collection of some of the most important, effective and practical data visualisation resources.

This post presents the first part of a collection of books that have had most influence on my knowledge about data visualisation and its many closely-related subject areas. The selection presented includes only the books I own or I have read from a library – I have decided to exclude any books I’ve not yet read, even if they might be on other reading lists. However, I will add emerging texts to the collection as and when I get to them. This collection should be read alongside part one and part two.

The categories used to organise and group the books simply represents an instinctive and personal view for how they have proven valuable to me – I appreciate they could be/will be argued, debated and refined but it will never be perfect! The books in each section are typically sequenced alphabetically. Clicking on the book images will take you to the relevant page (please note these are affiliate links).

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Statistical Analysis and Problem Solving

Data Analysis with Open Source Tools, By Philipp K. Janert
How to Lie With Statistics, By Darrell Huff
R in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference, By Joseph Adler
Statistics in a Nutshell: A Desktop Quick Reference, By Sarah Boslaugh, Paul Andrew Watters
Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, By Sunni Brown
The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, By Dan Roam
The Power of the 2 x 2 Matrix: Using 2 x 2 Thinking to Solve Business Problems and Make Better Decisions, By Alex Lowy
Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving, By Jon Koomey
Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures, By Dan Roam


Historical, Business and Inspiration

Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages, By Alex Wright
Graphic Discovery: A Trout in the Milk and Other Visual Adventures, By Howard Wainer
Playfair’s Commercial and Political Atlas and Statistical Breviary, By William Playfair
Freelance Design in Practice, Cathy Fishel
Graphic Artist’s Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines, By Graphic Artists Guild
The Designful Company: How to build a culture of nonstop innovation, By Marty Neumeier
Art: The Whole Story, By Stephen Farthing
The Art of Looking Sideways, By Alan Fletcher
We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion, By Sep Kamvar


That completes the nineth part of this collection of essential visualisation resources. You should also take a look at similar collections made by Enrico Bertini and Jorge Camoes. Please leave any comments or feedback any suggestions you have to add to this collection or to enhance the detail presented above.

1 Comment

Dan MurrayJanuary 5th, 2013 at 11:54 am

Great post! I suggest you investigate the book – Innumeracy, by John Allen Paulos