Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
Sept 29–Oct 1, 2015 • New York, NY

Introduction to visualizations using D3

Brian Suda (
9:00am–12:30pm Tuesday, 09/29/2015
Design, User Experience, & Visualization
Location: 3D 06/07 Level: Intermediate
Average rating: ****.
(4.29, 7 ratings)

Materials or downloads needed in advance

It would be good to have some data-set that you would like to work on. As we go through the different issues, ideas and concepts, you can think about them in relation to your specific issues. All the tutorial files will be available online as HTML files. Having a laptop to follow along is useful, but not required.


In this tutorial we’ll walk through the basic types of charts and graphs and how we can create them using D3. When we understand the basics, we can begin to build more complex visualizations.

You need to take into consideration more than just the data. For instance, we need to consider issues with color, size, resolution, and audience. There are several tools to help and we’ll look at some of the gotchas to make sure your designs are the best possible.

Even if you have the data, selected the right chart, and managed to make it suit your needs, you still need to figure out exactly what story you want to tell. By putting a laser focus on just a few aspects of what you are trying to convey and telling that story as best as possible, you can make the best impact. We’ll go through some of those storytelling techniques.

Using D3 and other tools, we’ll go through some examples and show you how you can be a hero at your job. The goal is for you to go back afterward and impress your co-workers with your new data design skills.

Photo of Brian Suda

Brian Suda

Brian Suda is a master informatician currently residing in Reykjavík, Iceland. Since first logging on in the mid-’90s, he has spent a good portion of each day connected to the internet. When he is not hacking on microformats or writing about web technologies, he enjoys taking kite aerial photography. His own little patch of internet can be found at, where many of his past projects, publications, interviews, and crazy ideas can be found.

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Picture of P Nguyen
P Nguyen
09/29/2015 10:19pm EDT

Dear Mr. Suda,
Thank you for the awesome presentation today! Where can we find the slides you used during the tutorial? Additionally, are there specific tutorials that you recommend for getting started and learning D3, in general? I am new to client-side JS and the front-end world.

Thank you.