Data Visualization Books & Blogs

In the following weeks, we will continue to release a series of posts to introduce resources on statistical computing, data visualization and to help you catch up with the ever-changing industry trends.

We therefore present to you the Data Resources Mini Series – Not Just Buzzwords.

Cover image: William Playfair (1821) 

If you missed Library’s workshops on Data Visualization Toolkits and Tableau, the books and e-resources we recommend here can be a good start for an overview of data visualization – from principles, through practices, to techniques and reflections.Next time we will share resources to help you catch up with the ever-changing “data industries”.  Stay tuned!


the classsical

books that laid the foundations for the practitioners of the field /early works that are never outdated, even in the digital era

The Visual Display of Quantitative InformationEdward R. Tufte
Envisioning InformationEdward R. Tufte
Visual ExplanationsEdward R. Tufte
Beautiful EvidenceEdward R. TufteThe Elements of Graphing Data
William S. Cleveland


scientific visualization

guides, case studies, examples for newcomers to the field of data visualization

The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication
Alberto Cairo
The Functional Art: An Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization
Alberto Cairo
Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten
Stephen Few


scientific visualization

principles, practices, reflections concepts, techniques, analysis

The Elements of Graphing Data
William S. Cleveland
The Grammar of Graphics
Leland Wilkinson
Visualization Analysis and Design
Tamara Munzner
Visualize This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization, and Statistics
Nathan Yau


business intelligence

dashboard building and information graphics design in communication and reporting

The Big Book of Dashboards: Visualizing Your Data Using Real-World Business Scenarios
Steve Wexler, Jeffrey Shaffer, and Andy Cotgreave
Storytelling with Data: A Data Visualization Guide for Business Professionals
Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic
The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics: The Dos and Don’ts of Presenting Data, Facts, and Figures
Dona M. Wong
Information Dashboard Design: The Effective Visual Communication of Data
Stephen Few
Now You See It: Simple Visualization Techniques for Quantitative Analysis
Stephen Few



learn from others who are doing data viz/ keep up with the trends

ProPublica News Apps
Information is Beautiful Awards


handy companions to tools

a little bit of statistical reasoning, programming and web development goes a long way

R Graphics Cookbook: Practical Recipes for Visualizing Data
Winston Chang (to be released in April)
Interactive Data Visualization for the Web: An Introduction to Designing with D3
Scott Murray
Data Analysis with Open Source Tools
Philipp K. Janert
Visualizing Data: Exploring and Explaining Data with the Processing Environment
Ben Fry
Tableau Your Data!: Fast and Easy Visual Analysis with Tableau Software
Daniel G. Murray
A Visual Guide to Stata Graphics
Michael N. Mitchell


R Resources for Self-paced Learning

Stata Resources for Self-paced Learning


contact at RITSYun Dai (,Fan Luo ( by Yun Dai (

edited by Scotty Sun