Stephen Few’s Visual Business Intelligence Workshop – Toronto


Unilytics is thrilled to host the “Visual Business Intelligence Workshop”, originally created by Stephen Few, one of the world’s foremost thought leaders in data visualization! It will be taught by Nick Desbarats, the only educator authorized by Stephen Few to teach his workshops. Nick will take you through a three-day program based on Stephen Few’s bestselling books.

Show Me the Numbers: Table and Graph Design (2 days)
Information Dashboard Design (1 day)

October 31 – November 2, 2018

3 days Wed, Thurs and Fri 9:00am – 5:00pm

Cost: $ 2,495 +HST

Pantages Hotel Toronto
200 Victoria Street
Toronto, ON
M5B 1V8

Show Me the Numbers Course Description (days 1 & 2)

Stephen Few’s foundational course will teach you best practices that will enable you to effectively communicate quantitative business data using tables and graphs.

Key topics

  • When to present data as a table or as a graph
  • How to select the most appropriate type of graph based on the underlying data, the message to be communicated and the characteristics of the audience
  • Making graphs easier to visually process
  • Avoiding common graph design mistakes
  • Designing tables for easy visual consumption
  • Handling common data visualization challenges
  • Techniques for making the key insights and stories within visualizations more obvious to audiences

Each participant will receive a copy of Stephen Few’s book Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, Second Edition.

Information Dashboard Design Course Description (day 3)

When designed well, dashboards engage the power of visual perception to communicate a dense collection of information efficiently, and with exceptional clarity. This course will teach you how this can be achieved by applying visual design skills that address the unique challenges of dashboards.

Key topics

  • What a dashboard is (and isn’t) and what types of information dashboards should be used for
  • Effective dashboard organization and layout practices to enable rapid visual scanning
  • Compact information display techniques
  • Graph types that work well on dashboards and those that don’t
  • The importance of displaying contextual values such as targets and historic averages with current values to highlight metrics that require attention
  • Steps in the dashboard design process
  • 13 common dashboard design mistakes and how to avoid them

At the end of the workshop, each participant will receive a copy of Stephen Few’s book, Information Dashboard Design: Displaying data for at-a-glance monitoring, on which the workshop is based.


Meet the Instructor

Nick Desbarats has 20 years of experience designing innovative reporting systems and applications that enable senior decision-makers to make better, faster decisions based on large quantities of data. He has trained over 1,000 professionals in ten countries in data visualization and information dashboard design.

Recent clients include NASA, Bloomberg, Hershey’s, IMS Health, Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC), Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA), Canadian Payments Association, Crescent Point Energy Canada, Government of Canada, KPMG, Teradata, VISA, and Zurich Insurance.

First and only educator authorized to teach Stephen Few’s Perceptual Edge workshops.

Founder or co-founder of three enterprise software companies including BitFlash Inc., which raised over $20MM in venture financing and was acquired by OpenText Corp in 2004.Deep expertise in data visualization, information dashboard design, cognition and cognitive biases, perception, judgement, decision-making, software design and development processes.

Featured speaker at major conferences (CTIA, JavaOne, GSM World). USPTO decision-support patent granted in 2012.



When decisions have major consequences, clarity matters a lot. During my time as the Manager of Contractor Support for NASA’s Flight Safety Office, Nick’s workshops were instrumental in helping us learn how to use visual design to bring clarity to our graphs, tables, reports, and, ultimately, to NASA’s decisional options. The combination of Stephen Few’s inspired material and Nick’s dynamic teaching style worked for us. It will work for your organization too.”

– Bill Wood, STAR Group Solutions, LLC (formerly Manager of Contractor Support, NASA Flight Safety Office)

“Being a consulting company, we create tables, graphs, and dashboards as an intrinsic part of almost every client engagement. However, our design decisions were left to each employee’s personal intuitions with very uneven results and, more importantly, we had no common set of best practices to use in order to provide useful feedback to our peers on how to improve their visualizations. Nick’s workshop helped make our people aware of the many common mistakes that people make when designing tables, graphs, and dashboards, and gave us the necessary base of knowledge to look at our client deliverables much more critically. His direct, hands-on experience makes his workshops especially impactful, as he is able to relate concepts to real-life scenarios. That was a real differentiator for us and quickly converted the few initial skeptics among our group.”

– Nic Picard, Principal Consultant, IBB Consulting Group

Who Should Attend this Workshop

Anyone who creates tables and graphs as a regular part of their work, including business and financial analysts, business intelligence and data analysts, executives, project managers, software developers, user experience designers, as well as human resources, marketing, sales, operations and finance professionals. Other professionals, such as researchers, journalists, health care professionals and educators will also benefit. Those who are responsible for creating information dashboards for users within or outside of their organization will also benefit.

No prior technical or data visualization knowledge is required. Experienced analysts will also benefit from the workshop since having deep data analysis expertise does not necessarily mean that an analyst has mastered the skills necessary to communicate data effectively to others.

Workshop Format

The workshop consists of engaging, interactive presentation segments that feature real-world and fictional graph examples, interleaved with ten group exercises and discussions. Best practices are demonstrated, not just stated, so that audiences understand not just what the best practices are, but also why they yield visualizations and dashboards that are clearer and easier for audiences to understand. No computers or software are used.

Workshop registration fee includes:

Training and all materials for 3 day workshop:

  • Show Me the Numbers: Table and Graph Design (2 days)
  • Information Dashboard Design (1 day)

Food and beverages:

  • Morning and afternoon breaks with beverages and snacks each day
  • Lunch provided each day

Two Stephen Few books:

  • Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, Second Edition
  • Information Dashboard Design: Displaying data for at-a-glance monitoring, Second Edition

For more information on this workshop, CONTACT US

Refund policy: cancellations must be received by email on or before September 14, 2018 for a refund. Unfortunately, cancellations received later than September 14, 2018 will be liable for the full workshop fee. Substitutions may be made at any time.

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Contact us