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The Art and Science of Data Visualization

Authors: Jon Schwabish, Ken Puls, Matt Allington

Data visualization is the art and science of presenting data in a clear, engaging, and meaningful way. It can help you communicate insights, tell stories, and persuade audiences. In this course, you will learn the fundamental skills to create better, more effective graphs, charts, and diagrams in Excel and Power BI.

11h 45m
  • Excel
  • Power BI
  • Data Visualization

What you'll learn?

  • Identify the purpose and goal of your data visualizations
  • Visual perception and the importance of visualizing your data
  • Overview of graphic types beyond the standard line, bar, and pie charts
  • Data visualization best practices and strategies
  • How to think critically about visualization design
  • How to use and identify better methods to present analysis to your users
  • How to increase message clarity and impact through data visualization
  • Steps for building various data visualizations in Excel and Power BI

The Art and Science of Data Visualization

$270Renews at $69 per year
(All prices in USD)
  • 11h 45m of training content
  • 19 modules
  • Downloadable files and Handouts
  • Support and Discussion
  • Certificate of Completion

The Art and Science of Data Visualization


Course Description

Data visualization is the art and science of presenting data in a clear, engaging, and meaningful way. It can help you communicate insights, tell stories, and persuade audiences. Organizations tasked with producing, releasing, and analyzing large amounts of data can more effectively understand and disseminate their work by better visualizing their data. Too often, organizations make visualizing their results an afterthought secondary to the analysis, which ultimately limits the effective relay of information.

But how do you design data visualizations for different audiences and contexts? In this course, you will learn the fundamental skills to create better, more effective graphs, charts, diagrams. You will learn how to attract and direct your user’s attention around the page, screen, or slide. To help you move beyond the standard line, bar, and pie chart, you will learn the broad range of data visualizations available to you. You will learn how to make your graphs clearer and easier to read. But with the practical, hands-on portion of the course, you’ll be able to create more than 30 different types of graphs and charts in Excel and Power BI.

Let us help you!

Built from a practical point of view, our expert trainers will showcase real-world examples and techniques that you can use right away. You’ll learn the steps, formulas, and tricks from world-class experts that will save you hours of time on a weekly basis. Let us help you get the data-cleaning out of the way, so that you can focus on the satisfying part of the job: providing the insights that you were actually hired to deliver.

This course starts at the beginning and is intended for people who analyze and communicate data, but who may have never thought deeply about the best ways to visualize and communicate those data. No coding skills, design skills, or data skills needed: the only requirement is an interest in better data communication.

Simply put, you won’t find a more comprehensive introductory data visualization course anywhere! Plus, everything you learn in applicable to both Excel and Power BI.

Who this course is for?

This course is for anyone interested in data communication and who wants to better understand the general design process regardless of their data analysis or software skills, including:

  • People working with and analyzing data including analysts, researchers, data scientists, and data engineers who are interested in improving how they communicate their work.
  • Communication designers and other creatives looking to expand their communication design skillset.

Not sure if this course is right for you?

Visit our Learning Journey page to compare courses by skill level and area of specialization.

Note on Phased Release

This course will be released in multiple phases. Phases 1 and 2 are now available, and anyone previously registered will have automatic access to the Phase 3 content at no additional charge as soon as it becomes available.

Phase 1 Content

All of the content released in Phase 1 is created by Jon Schwabish. The first half of the course covers key data visualization concepts and explains different types of charts and graphs, including when and how each type may be used. The second half of the course provides practical, step-by-step coverage of creating some of the most common types of graphs and charts in Excel. These lessons include downloadable example files so you can work along with the videos.

Phase 2 Content

Phase 2 expands upon the practical examples that were released in Phase 1. Ken Puls and Matt Allington teach you how to create the previously-covered data visualizations using dynamic data stored in the Power Pivot Data Model and/or Power BI. 

Phase 3 Release & Content

We will be adding new lessons in 2024 on additional graphs and charts that were not previously covered. The exact release schedule is yet to be finalized, but we will only be adding new lessons when all three chapters are ready. Anyone enrolled in the course will be notified when the new content is available.


The Art and Science of Data Visualization

Average Rating

4.3 / 5

(based on 7 reviews)

Anne Walsh
Anne Walsh
October 26, 2023
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I loved the variety of charts and the guidelines - really helpful.
Mark Chesley
Mark Chesley
April 19, 2024
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I loved the dynamic charting content. Keep up the great work. It's amazing how much work goes into putting all of this together and it is equally amazing you guys keep coming out with new content and courses to keep pace with all of the developments in Excel and Power BI.
March 6, 2024
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The course provided great inspiration and basic understanding of the versatility of different chart types. It would be nice to include some hands-on assignments.
February 26,2024
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I loved the structured set up and the combination of theory and exercise, but I would like more practice and maybe a business case added.
September 13, 2023
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The course is very well delivered, providing meaningful insights, considerations and recommendations.
Solar Zhu
Solar Zhu
December 24, 2023
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I loved the way to show the visualizations in Excel and PBI. It is really good for beginner and intermediate level learns. Some tricks Ken used in Excel data model are very cool to see. I would love to see more practical examples, and how to have deep dive to talk about the visualization features in Excel and Power BI.
David Johnston
David Johnston
August 24, 2023
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Jon is a fantastic presenter, I really love the wide variety of example visuals he displayed to tell the story of visuals. I liked how he was happy to show examples that were good but had things he didn't quite like/love, it was a very well-rounded approach. I'm looking forward to the Power BI element of the course being added later. I think the course is very strong. Top job as always from Jon and Skillwave team.

Course Update Log

Phase 1 of The Art and Science of Data Visualization released, including the following modules:

  • Welcome to the Course
  • Key Data Visualization Questions
  • Rules of Perception
  • Expand Your Graphic Literacy
  • Best Practiced for Data Visualization
  • Specific Chart Types
  • Data Visualization Design
  • Bringing it All Together
  • How to Build Visuals – Basic Charts
  • How to Build Visuals – Change Over Time
  • How to Build Visuals – Relationships
  • How to Build Visuals – Maps
  • How to Build Visuals – Category Comparisons
  • How to Build Visuals – Distributions
  • How to Build Visuals – Part to Whole


Phase 2 released, which expands upon the practical examples in the “How to Build” modules that were released in Phase 1. Each lesson’s video now contains three chapters:

  • Chapter 1 contains Jon’s original video, showing you how to build a particular visual using a static slice of data in traditional Excel.
  • Chapter 2 turns the focus to plotting dynamic data from Excel Power Pivot. Ken Puls recreates the same charts as Jon (for the most part), and looks at the nuances that come with sliceable data.
  • Chapter 3 covers how to build the same types of visuals using Power BI. Matt Allington does this using the dynamic data from Chapter 2, and highlights some of the differences of Power BI over Excel.

In addition, we’ve added 2 new modules to the beginning of the “How to Build” section:

  • How to Build Visuals
  • Extracting Data from the Excel Data Model

Course Formats

This is an on-demand course, delivered via pre-recorded video modules that you can consume at your own pace. It includes all required sample files and practice sets.

Course Content

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About the authors

Jon Schwabish

MA and PhD (Economics)
Jonathan Schwabish is an economist by training, but over the last 10 years, he's worked hard to communicate his research in better ways and to help others do the same. His is currently a Senior Fellow in The Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Policy Center and a member of the Institute’s Communication team. He is also founder and CEO of PolicyViz, a data communication consulting firm that helps people and organizations across the world improve how they visualize and communicate their data and analysis. Jon is considered a leader in the data visualization field, and the author of four books on more effective ways to communicate data.
Ken Puls

Ken Puls

Microsoft MVP, FCPA, FCMA
Ken Puls is one of the founding partners of Skillwave.Training, and the President and Chief Training Officer of Excelguru Consulting Inc. in Canada. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant, blogger, author, and trainer with over 20 years of business and IT experience. His passion lies in exploring tools to turn data into information, and teaching others how to use them. Ken is a Microsoft MVP and a leading expert in Excel, Power Query, and Power BI.
Matt Allington

Matt Allington

Microsoft MVP
Matt Allington is one of the founding partners of Skillwave.Training, and the owner and principal consultant at Excelerator BI Pty Ltd. in Australia. He is an expert in Power BI and DAX training, and has 30+ years of experience in using data to deliver business value. Matt is an author, blogger, and Microsoft MVP that specializes in Power BI, Power Pivot, and Power Query. He brings his business and IT experience to solve general business data problems quickly and efficiently.


How do I access the course materials? Are they downloadable?

The videos are streamed on-demand and may be watched as often as you like. However, they are not downloadable. The example files and handouts for each lesson are downloadable.

What support is included with the course? How do I ask questions?

All users with a current course subscription receive access to our private Discussion Forum, where they can ask questions related to the course materials, as well as how to apply those teachings to their own work. This forum is also intended to act as a place for students to practice their own learnings by helping others with those questions. While the focus of this forum is primarily aimed at allowing students to learn by helping each other, they are monitored by our course authors as well. For technical issues related to the site, course access, or other questions regarding your account, please get in touch through our Contact Us page.

When will Phase 3 of the course be released?

We are still finalizing the release schedule of additional new lessons in 2024. As soon as new content is available, we will contact all registrants to let them know.

How do I renew my subscription?

If you subscription is set to auto-renew, our system will automatically renew your subscription for another year on your renewal date using the billing information on file. If you subscription is set to manual renewal, our system will generate a manual invoice and email it to you on the renewal date. About a month (4 weeks) before your next renewal date, you will receive an email from us reminding you that the renewal is coming up and to confirm your billing details so your access is uninterrupted.

How do I cancel my subscription?

You may cancel your subscription at any time, and you will continue to have access to all of your course materials until your expiry date. To cancel your subscription, go to the Billing page from your Account Dashboard and select the subscription to cancel from the My Subscriptions area. Once in the Subscription Details page, you can then choose to cancel your subscription from the Actions field. After your subscription expires, you will not longer have access to the course materials.

Where are the course videos hosted?

All the videos for the course are hosted on Vimeo. Please note that some networks block access to Vimeo, in which case the videos will not be watchable. You may want to double-check that your network allows access to Vimeo before registering in the Academy, to ensure that you will be able to see the videos.

How do I receive my Certificate of Completion?

After all the modules and lessons have been completed, you will be able to download the Certificate of Completion from the My Courses area of your Account Dashboard.

What payment methods do you accept? What currency is used?

We accept credit card payments through our secure online payment portal, Stripe. If you would like to discuss other payment options, please get in touch through our Contact Us page. All transactions are charged in US Dollars. Please note that because Skillwave is registered in Canada, we are required by Canada Revenue Agency to collect the 5% Goods & Services Tax (GST) on registrations made by Canadians.

What is your refund policy for this course?

We think you will love our training; however, if you are unsatisfied with the training for any reason, we offer a 14-day 100% money-back guarantee, as long as you have completed less than 25% of the course. All we ask in return is that you tell us why you were unsatisfied with the training. We do not offer refunds if you have completed over 25% of the course and/or it is more than 14 days after the purchase date.

Can an account be shared with or transferred to another user?

Logins, downloads, and other materials are for the exclusive use of the registered user only. Sharing of credentials is in violation of our site policies and may result in termination of product and/or site access without notice.

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