It took me years before I could understand what was going on in a histogram. I had trouble understanding the tails, skewness, and concepts such as "fat tails."

With a lot of practice, histograms have become more intuitive for me.

I believe I have some sort of "graphical dyslexia."

I want to build an inituitive understanding of basic, common types of data visualizations such as:

  • histograms
  • scatter plots
  • dotplots
  • stem and leaf plots
  • density plots

By intuitive, I mean that when I glance at one of these plots, I want to figure out the gist of it within a few seconds (rather than stare at it for minutes without anything registering in my mind, as is usually the case for me).

StackExchange: can you recommend to me books/resources that can help me with this?

  • $\begingroup$ understanding of all kinds of data visualizations makes this question very broad, as there are 100s of types of viz. So, pl consider narrowing your down, or breaking this question into multiple seperate questions. $\endgroup$
    – Dawny33
    Apr 19, 2016 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Dawny33 Thanks, appreciate the pointers. I've edited my question, hope it suffices... otherwise feel free to give me more pointers. $\endgroup$ Apr 19, 2016 at 18:24

1 Answer 1


There are two books that are our "bibles" in data visualisation.

Tufte has a wealth of examples on good and bad visualisations. McCandless has some lovely, or even beautiful graphics and ways to display data.


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