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From the Author: Telling Stories with Data A common mistake in data design is to approach a project with a visual layout before looking at your data. This leads to graphics that lack context and provide little value. Visualize This teaches you a data-first approach. Explore what your data has to say first, and you can design graphics that mean something. Visualization and data design all come easier with practice, and you can advance your skills with every new dataset and project. To begin though, you need a proper foundation and know what tools are available to you (but not let them bog you down). I wrote Visualize This with that in mind. You'll be exposed to a variety of software and code and jump right into real-world datasets so that you can learn visualization by doing, and most importantly be able to apply what you learn to your own data. Three Data Visualization Steps: 1) Ask a Question When you get a dataset, it sometimes is a challenge figuring out where to start, especially when it's a large dataset. Approach your data with a simple curiosity or a question that you want answered, and go from there. 2) Explore Your Data A simple curiosity often leads to more questions, which are a good guide for what stories to dig into. What variables are related to each other? Can you see changes over time? Are there any features in the data that stand out? Find out all you can about your data, because the more you know what's behind the numbers, the better story you can tell. 3) Visualize Your Data Once you know the important parts of your data, you can design graphics the best way you see fit. Use shapes, colors, and sizes that make sense and help tell your story clearly to readers. While the base of your charts and graphs will share many of the same properties – bars, slices, dots, and lines – the final design elements will and should vary by your unique dataset.
See your data in new ways

Our world is awash in data. To mean anything, it must be presented in a way that enables us to interpret, analyze, and apply the information. One of the best ways to do that is visually.

Nathan Yau is a pioneer of this innovative approach. In this book, he offers you dozens of ideas for telling your story with data presented in creative, visual ways. Open the book, open your mind, and discover an almost endless variety of ways to give your data new dimensions.

Visit the companion web site at www.wiley.com/go/visualizethis for code samples, data files you can download, and interactive examples to show you how visualization works

Learn to present data with visual representations that allow your audience to see the unexpected

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View related content: Leadership and Innovation

US Department of Education

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The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 largely mandated that US school district central office leadership should help schools dramatically improve their performance and significantly shrink decades-old achievement gaps. However, central offices have traditionally focused on business and compliance functions rather than on supporting schools in their efforts to help all students realize ambitious learning goals. To address this mismatch between new performance demands and long-standing central office work and capacity, district leaders must set aside old ways of working and fundamentally transform their central offices. The experience of districts pioneering such efforts suggests that central office transformation should involve creating partnerships between principals and executive-level central office staff, developing and aligning performance-oriented central office services to support district-wide instructional improvement, and establishing superintendent and other central office leadership that will help staff build their capacity for better performance.

Key points in this Outlook :

Federal and state policies place challenging demands on US school district central offices—the local governmental bureaucracy that sits hierarchically above schools—to realize ambitious achievement goals, but these policies seem designed for failure. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001(NCLB), for example, largely mandated that districts help schools dramatically improve their performance and significantly shrink decades-old achievement gaps. This emphasis on central offices reflects reams of research and experience that show that without central office leadership, reform efforts lumber or fail at single schools and at scale across districts.[ 1 ]

But such policies hardly attend to the mismatch between new performance demands and traditional central office work and capacity. Central offices have generally focused on business and compliance functions and, to a limited extent, curriculum adoption and development activities. The central offices have not focused on supporting schools in helping all students realize ambitious learning goals. In part because of this mismatch, the percentage of schools not realizing adequate yearly progress has been on the rise.

State and district policies and reforms targeted at turning around such results are right to invest in central offices. But such strategies generally tinker with surface changes and do not attend to the heart of the problem: the work practices and capacity of central office staff are ill-suited for supporting better student outcomes. Unless educational leaders tackle this mismatch head on, they will continue to expect the near-impossible from school district central offices and realize disappointing results. Districts that have been tackling this mismatch reveal initial promising directions for what a transformed central office looks like—one that operates as a support system for improving the quality of teaching and learning district wide.

Sarah Perez @sarahintampa /

In earlier years, fitness gurus would market their programs for getting in shape on VHS tapes and, later, DVDs. These days, it’s an app business. At Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference this week in San Jose, the company brought in one of the fitness app industry’s superstars, KaylaItsines , co-creator of the BBG (Bikini Body Guides) and the Sweat app — which will pull in $77 million USD this year — to lead amorning workout for around 200 conference attendees.

For Apple, Kayla’s brand represents not only a good App Store success story, but also spreads the message of how its own products, like iPhone and Apple Watch, enable access to better health through their platforms.

From e-books to apps

Kayla’s fitness company was started several years ago by two personal trainers — herself and business partner Tobi Pearce. Both were using social media, including Instagram, to drive leads for their own PT sessions and bootcamps.

But Itsines’ online profile really took off and soon, people from all over the world wanted to know how they could train like her and get the same results.

WWDC Workout with Kayla Itsines

So the trainers packaged up her program materials and sold it as an e-book online starting in early 2014. Over the next year or so, the business grew, as they distributed more e-books and a broader content series.

But Kayla and Tobi wanted to reach even more people, so they turned to the App Store.

“That’s where our customers are,” said Tobi, speaking of the company’s decision to launch a mobile app, in a conversation with TechCrunch backstage at the WWDC fitness event.

“We have mostly millennial consumers — 25 to 35 is our main market,” he continues. “Part of being a personal trainer is that you get to be there — personally — and train people in real time. Now, obviously, you can’t do that for every person in the world, and an e-book can’t do that. But Apple allowed us to do that,” he says. “The Apple ecosystem is kind of a no-brainer.”

WWDC Workout with Kayla Itsines

The team launched the Sweat app in November 2015, but it got a big refresh — almost a full relaunch — early last year, with three to four times the amount of content.

Today, the Sweat app is a one-stop shop for fitness programs for women, featuring not only Kayla’s own content, but other trainers’ programs as well, across areas like yoga, pregnancy and gym workouts, for example.

Subscribers pay $19.99 per month to use the Sweat app, which is cheaper than the gym, or they can opt for an annual membership to save 50 percent.

However, not all of Sweat’s users are turning to the app instead of the gym — can also can be a companion for those who want the assistance of a personal trainer in a gym environment, but don’t want to pay the hundreds of dollars they tend to charge.

Design Thinking

One of 16 special essays on how the field of social innovation has evolved and what challenges remain ahead.

By Christian Bason Spring 2013

W hat does it feel like to start a new business and encounter government red tape and bureaucracy? What will it take to design a digital platform to help the unemployed rapidly find a voluntary mentor to coach them in finding a job? How can education reform be made tangible enough to spur real change in schools across an entire nation? And, not least, how do you systematically prototype, test, and scale up public sector policy and service responses to such challenges? These are some of the questions that the Danish government’s innovation unit, MindLab , has taken on during the last decade. Based in Copenhagen and part of the ministries of Business and Growth, Employment, and Children and Education, MindLab was established in 2002. A small team of ethnographers, designers, and public policy specialists accepted the mission of involving citizens and business in co-designing new public solutions.

In Denmark, design has already been applied in a wide range of public sector settings, from rethinking waste management in Copenhagen, to reducing tensions between inmates and guards in Danish prisons, to transforming services for mentally disabled adults in the city of Odense. The design methods used are typically ethnographic-inspired user research, creative ideation processes, and visualization and modeling of service prototypes.

Denmark is in the forefront of design-led innovation in the public sector, but this approach is increasingly being adopted around the world. In the United Kingdom, for example, service design has grown rapidly over the last decade, driven by consultancies such as LiveWork, Engine, Participle, and Think Public, and by the establishment of public or semi-public bodies such as NESTA’s Public Services Lab, the National Health Service’s Institute for Innovation and Improvement, and the UK Design Council’s Public Services by Design program. Even in 10 Downing Street, the Behavioural Insights Team (“nudge unit”) is looking to design for a more experimental approach to understanding user needs and prototype interventions (such as rewriting tax forms).

In the United States a broader design agenda for local and federal governments is emerging. What began as a focus on using technology to increase transparency (so-called Open Government) has shifted to focus on citizen participation, participatory democracy, service delivery, leadership practices, and organizational change. Central actors include for-profit companies such as IDEO and Local Projects, nonprofits such as Bloomberg Philanthropies and Code for America, and government initiatives such as Boston’s New Urban Mechanics and the US Office of Personnel Management’s new Innovation Lab.

Wellness inspired. Wellness enabled.

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