Presented By O'Reilly and Cloudera
Make Data Work
September 26–27, 2016: Training
September 27–29, 2016: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Introduction to visualizations using D3

Brian Suda (
1:30pm–5:00pm Tuesday, 09/27/2016
Visualization & user experience
Location: 3D 10 Level: Non-technical
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A dataset that you would like to work on so you can think about the different issues, ideas, and concepts Brian discusses in relation to your specific issues (useful but not required)
  • Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • A laptop, if you'd like to follow along
  • All the tutorial files will be available online as HTML files and as a ZIP file, available here
  • (31 KB).

    What you'll learn

  • Understand which tools, graphs, and charts to use to tell the right story
  • Description

    Visualizations are a key part of conveying any dataset. D3 is the most popular, easiest, and most extensible way to get your data online in an interactive way. Brian Suda outlines best practices for good data visualizations and explains how you can build them using D3. Brian walks attendees through the basic types of charts and graphs and demonstrates how to create them using D3. Once you understand the basics, you can begin to build more complex visualizations.

    Creating a good visualization requires more than just the data. You also need to consider issues with color, size, resolution, and audience, to give just a few examples. Brian offers an overview of several helpful tools and explores some of the gotchas to make sure your designs are the best possible. But even if you have the data, have selected the right chart, and managed to make it suit your needs, you still need to figure out what story you want to tell. Brian shows how you can make the most impact 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. Then, using D3 and other tools, Brian goes through some examples so that you can go back to work and impress your coworkers with your new data design skills.

    Photo of Brian Suda

    Brian Suda

    Brian Suda is a master informatician currently residing in Reykjav√≠k, 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.