Read “The Art of Insight” by Alberto Cairo with us!

“…visualization designers who build meaning as a tribute to themselves or as an aid to others.”

Do you keep getting recommendations for data vis books, maybe even buying them, but then don’t make it a priority to read them? Let’s get more out of these books by reading and discussing them together in the Data Vis Book Club. Here’s what we’ll read next — join us!

We’re very excited to announce the next book for our book club: “The Art of Insight” by Alberto Cairo! We’ll discuss it on March 15 during our (free to attend!) Unwrapped conference. And we’re trying something special for this one: Instead of a written conversation, this book club will be a live discussion with the author.

We’ll discuss The Art of Insight: How Great Visualization Designers Think on Friday, March 15 at 7 p.m. UTC.

That’s 11 a.m. on the U.S. West Coast; 1 p.m. in Chicago; 2 p.m. on the U.S. East Coast, Colombia, and Peru; 4 p.m. in Brazil and Argentina; 7 p.m. for readers in the U.K. and Portugal; 8 p.m. for most other Europeans; and Saturday, March 16th at 12:30 a.m. in India. Download a calendar file for the discussion or add it to your Google calendar.

Alberto Cairo will be with us to discuss the book throughout the entire session and will also answer all of your questions as they come. As always, everyone is welcome to join! Even if you haven’t read the book, it’ll be a great opportunity to listen to the interview and participate in asking questions.

To join the book club, sign up for the Unwrapped conference or subscribe to the Data Vis Book Club newsletter. We’ll send you a link to join this book club session shortly before it begins.

Should you read this book?

This will be the third time that Alberto Cairo has joined us to discuss one of his books! This time, we’ll read “The Art of Insight: How Great Visualization Designers Think,” a collection of dialogues with data visualization practitioners.

If you’ve read Cairo’s previous books, then you’ll find that “The Art of Insight” doesn’t dive deep into statistical concepts or show examples of untruthful charts (think: “How Charts Lie”), but instead invites the reader into a journey through the thought process of well-known data designers, illustrators, and artists.

The book and its author.

Alberto Cairo divides these dialogues into four parts:

  1. Pragmatists, with interviews with Ed Hawkins and Murray Dick
  2. Eccentrics, which includes conversations with Nadieh Bremer, Federica Fragapagne, and Sonja Kuijpers
  3. Ambassadors, including dialogues with Aaron Williams and Amanda Makulec
  4. Narrators, featuring Jane Pong, Simon Ducroquet, Alyssa Fowers, and many more!

These sections help readers get a comprehensive understanding of the perspectives and methods of those who do data visualization. It also gives us an idea of the variety of approaches within the field.

Read “The Art of Insight” with us if you are interested in…

  • The creative process of different data vis practitioners
  • Diverse approaches within the data visualization field
  • Inspiration on representing data in beautiful ways

Don’t read “The Art of Insight” if you’re looking for a step-by-step guide on how to create charts or a technical read on statistical methodology.

How does this edition of the book club work?

1. You get yourself a copy of “The Art of Insight.” You can ask your local library to order it for you, buy it, borrow it from a friend, or ask around on your preferred social network.

2. We all read the book. This is where the fun begins! Please mention @datavisclub on X (Twitter) or use the hashtag #datavisclub if you want to share your process, insights, and surprises — I’ll make sure to tweet them out from @datavisclub as motivation for us all. Don’t worry if you don’t read every word on all 300 pages of the book! Start by reading the chapters or conversations that appeal the most to you and see how far you get.

3. We get together to talk with Alberto Cairo about the book on Friday, March 15th at 7 p.m. UTC. This will happen online via a live video stream. You’ll see and hear Alberto and me as the host, and you’ll be able to talk to other participants or ask Alberto questions via chat (no video/audio!).

I’m looking forward to reading through “The Art of Insight” with all of you. If you have any questions, write them in the comments or send them to or to Guillermina / Datawrapper on Twitter. Also, make sure to follow @datavisclub to stay up to date and get a dose of motivation from time to time. I’ll see you in March!