Page title: Data Visualization

Lecture June 28
Workshop June 29

Effective communication of data through visualization.

Data Visualization Workshop
by Alberto Cairo

June 29, 2017
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Marston Hall, Room 2200
Iowa State University
533 Morrill Road
Ames, IA 50011-2103
Workshop Location | Parking

Alberto Cairo is the Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the School of Communication of the University of Miami. He is the author of The Functional Art: an Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization'" (2012) and "The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication" (2016). In addition to the workshop Cairo will be initiating his lecture series tour titled VISUAL TRUMPERY at ISU.

About the Workshop

Data visualization—the use of graphs, charts, maps and infographics to explore data and communicate it to audiences—is quickly becoming mainstream thanks to the amount and variety of powerful analytics tools. However, this rise in popularity has not been accompanied by an increasing awareness of the principles and rules that should guide visualization design. This workshop covers elementary and advanced principles of visualization for exploration and communication, a discussion about tools, and strategies to choose the most appropriate graphic forms to encode data and to build narratives based on them.

Workshop Outline

  1. Functional, beautiful, insightful, enlightening: A short introduction to infographics and visualization for communication
  2. The curse of information: Ethical challenges in the age of data
  3. Heuristics to decide what graphic form is the most appropriate for your information and for the story you wish to convey to your audience
  4. Lunch
  5. Basic principles of Graphic Design for non-designers: How type, color, and layout can enhance your graphics. How to transform a dull graph into a publishable one
  6. Storytelling with graphs, maps, diagrams, and illustrations
  7. The importance of copy-writing
  8. What lies ahead: From interaction to motion

Submit Your Work in Advance

Participants are encouraged to send samples of their own work to the instructor at least three weeks before the course. Alberto Cairo will try to incorporate them as exercises or as examples to illustrate the main points in the course. In some cases, he will redesign them or give you feedback on how to improve them.

No Prerequisites

This workshop is appropriate for all audience levels.

No Software Required

This workshop is about visual thinking and planning, although several software packages will be mentioned.


Online registration for the workshop is no longer available.


Header: Visual Trumpery

How to fight against fake data, fake facts, and fake visualizations from the left and the right



If you have questions about the lecture, workshop, or registration, please contact Judy Thomas (515-294-1866,