Crush your visuals! It’s going to take devotion.

I am mesmerized by my guitar hero Joe Satriani’s flying fingers.  Get as good at visuals.

In his book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell wrote that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert.  That’s over 27 years if you invest one hour/day and almost a decade if you up that to three hours/day.  WOW!

Many of you might not be working with visuals at that level and are wondering “How will I even get close to expert status?”  First, stop watching TV — we average five hours a day — and fire up your viz software.  Hey, you want to be an expert?

OK, if you can’t do without The Daily Show or The Bachelor, I’ve got a few suggestions that can get you along the path to an expert badge.

1. Get intimately familiar with a rich data set.  Use this for all your experiments so you can work with new ideas faster and don’t waste time learning new data.

2. Download outrageous work from #Tableau Public and figure out how it works, or in geek speak, reverse engineer it.

3. Be the first to answer questions on forums or add to an ongoing conversation.  This way you help yourself and someone else.  Good karma.

4. Reproduce a cool visual you see in the NY Times, WSJ, or roaming the web.  Your goal is to achieve the challenge, not necessarily replicate the work.

I’m sure you’ve got some great ideas on building visualization dexterity.  Please share them here…

“Crushing Day” by Joe Satriani

Spotify: Start zoning in at 1:50 and hear 10,000 hours of expert playing!

YouTube: Start at 3:30 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJO_18sTbhA

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