Visual Business Intelligence Workshop

The full fee for the 3-day course is $2995. A 10% early bird discount will apply up to 4 weeks before the course. Group discounts on enquiry.

Recommend course:


We are overwhelmed by information, not because there is too much, but because we don't know how to tame it. Information lies stagnant in rapidly expanding pools as our ability to collect and warehouse it increases but our abilities to make sense of and communicate it often aren’t up to the task. 

Computers speed the process of information handling but they don't tell us what the information means or how to communicate its meaning to decision-makers. These analysis and communication skills are not intuitive; they must be learned.

These workshops equip participants with the knowledge and techniques of visual business intelligence to help them make better use of their valuable information assets.

This is a three-day programme consisting of two courses:
Show Me the Numbers: Table and Graph Design and Information Dashboard Design

This programme is taught by Nick Desbarats of Practical Reporting Inc, is an independent educator and consultant who has provided data visualization and dashboard design training to over 1,000 professionals in eight countries and designed information dashboards for senior decision-makers at billion-dollar organizations. Nick is the only educator who is authorized to deliver Stephen Few's foundational training courses.



Who should attend:

This course is aimed at anyone who communicates quantitative information to internal decision-makers, external stakeholders, the public or others. Participants could come from the government, not-for-profit or private sectors and may include teachers, scientists, medical professionals, business managers and analysts, planners, information management and communication professionals, business intelligence and application developers, data analysts, usability experts—basically anyone who regularly needs to communicate quantitative information to an audience.

You will learn to:

  • recognise and avoid the most common data visualisation mistakes
  • match your message to the right type of graph
  • design tables and graphs to communicate information simply, clearly, and accurately
  • recognise the most common problems that cause information dashboards to be under-used or abandoned by decision-makers
  • apply dashboard design best practices
  • avoid clutter and arrange data in a way that enables large numbers of metrics to be monitored at a glance

Programme outline:

Show Me the Numbers: Table and Graph Design

This two-day course will teach you how to effectively communicate quantitative business data using tables and graphs. You will learn how to select the appropriate medium of communication (table vs. graph, and which type of graph) and how to visually design each component to express your message clearly and compellingly. (Full Course Outline)

This two-day version of the course differs from the previous one-day version in part in that it includes more content (for example, more information about table design), but also in that it adds many more group exercises and extended discussions to drive the principles home and build a firmer foundation for the development of expertise. You will leave this course having developed table and graph design skills that will stick with you and add immediate value to your work.

Each attendee receives a copy of the book Show Me the Numbers: Designing Tables and Graphs to Enlighten, Second Edition.

Information Dashboard Design

Information dashboards offer an exciting way to enable decision-makers to monitor large numbers of metrics very quickly, maintain situational awareness and easily spot areas of the organisation that are likely to require attention. This full-day course reaches past the hype to give you the essential design skills required to build dashboards that decision-makers will still be relying on for months and years after deployment. (Full Course Outline)

Each attendee receives a copy of the book Information Dashboard Design: Displaying Data for At-a-Glance Monitoring, Second Edition.

Course format:

This interactive programme consists of one two-day course followed immediately by a one-day course (i.e. a total of three days). The programme can accommodate up to 70 participants. It is focused on learning new tools and techniques to communicate your numbers and includes multiple breakout sessions and frequent audience interaction.


Nick Desbarats


Nick Desbarats has trained over 1,000 professionals at organizations in eight countries and in sectors including insurance, aerospace, government, energy, banking, health care, manufacturing, education, media, software and non-profit.

 "Nick is an engaging presenter and made data visualization fun to learn. The knowledge that he shared has been integral to our efforts to standardize our dashboards and other reporting and we're already planning to bring this invaluable training to a wider internal audience."
- Katie Grotenhuis, Enterprise Technology Innovation Manager, WPS Health Solutions


"At the Bank of Tanzania, Nick taught us many ways to put data to work, including practical skills in data analysis and communication. The clarity and effectiveness of our visualizations have improved dramatically following the workshops that he taught here. We're now able to apply data visualization skills for gaining insights from our data, creating periodic performance reports and supporting sound decisions. Nick is able to make data visualization so practical, simple and fun that people of all skill levels will benefit from -and enjoy- his workshops."
- Charles Assay, Manager, Strategic Planning and Performance Review, The Central Bank of Tanzania


"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

Partial client list

  • Agiliz Consulting
  • Altis Consulting
  • Bloomberg
  • Canadian Payments Association
  • Central Bank of Tanzania
  • Crescent Point Energy Canada
  • Crescent Point Energy US
  • Government of Canada
  • Hershey's
  • IBB Consulting
  • IMS Health Services
  • Kinaxis
  • Klipfolio
  • Marathon Oil
  • NASA
  • Northwestern Mutual
  • PMA Companies
  • Schoolzilla
  • Shopify
  • Teradata
  • The United Nations
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • WPS Insurance
  • Zurich Insurance


Further details:
If you would like more information about this programme, please contact us on:
Ph: 64 4 463 6556 Email:

Visit Victoria Professional and Executive Development on: