I have had the privilege of working with a wide variety of wonderful clients across all industries and locations, from global brands and esteemed institutions through to small startups and NGOs.
The responsibility for handling, analysing and communicating data is increasingly a ubiquitous demand. The availability of data will never reduce and the appetite for getting more from it will only increase: this means the emphasis on good data visualisation practices are more important than ever. However, effective data visualisation is not something that can just be accomplished through astute instincts and taste alone.
A motivation to help clients and organisations get more from and do more with their data themselves is at the heart of the range of design consultancy services offered by Andy Kirk on behalf of Visualising Data Ltd. Here the emphasis is on offering best practice advice and assistance for your data visualisation challenges focused on leaving a legacy of self-sufficiency: rather than have data visualisation done to you, let's do it with you.
Reviewing existing visual products (reports, graphics, projects) and providing a report with detailed and explained recommendations on potential improvements and enhancements
Developing a concept design specification for a given data-driven challenge shaped by a given context (in-house skills, resources, access to software), providing detailed recommendations for a potential solution for the organisation to implement
Often an engagement that works as a companion to a training workshop, this service consultancy involves clients/organisations developing potential solution to a workplace challenge themselves but under facilitated guidance through the critical path of analytical and design thinking
Providing guidance to organisations on how to embed better data visualisation practices. Includes activities such as developing style guidelines, assessing corporate capability & readiness and advising on organisational programmes of change.
I'm fortunate to be working on a really interesting research project called 'Seeing Data' with a research team from the Institute of Communication Studies at the University of Leeds and The Migration Observatory. The study is titled 'Seeing Data' and is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Having commenced in January of this year the project runs through to March 2015. The focus of the study should be of interest to anyone visiting this site.
So much of the discussion about data visualisation is dominated by new projects, new techniques and tools - and understandably so, in many ways we are still in the golden period of experimentation and discovery. The aim of 'Seeing Data' is to understand how people make sense of data visualisations, specifically 'big data' visualisations relating to subjects of great depth and rich breadth. Through learning about the ways in which people engage with data visualisations we intend to provide some key resources for the general public, to help them develop the skills they need to interact with visualisations, and also for visualisation designers/producers, to help them understand what matters to the people who view and engage with their visualisations.
One of the key strands of our research activity will be the running of focus groups where we will be conducting assessments about people's experiences with an array of different visualisation work: different in format, function, tone and subject matter. We are thrilled to be collaborating with our partner studio - Clever Franke - who are helping us to create new visualisation assets for use in this process and beyond.
It is not a long-running, big-team, multi-million pound programme of work but we feel it will be an important stepping stone to learning more about this fascinating subject area. I will be sharing updates on this site but otherwise you can find out more details about the project via our dedicated website seeingdata.org, including more information about the aims, intended outputs and how you can get involved in our research. You can follow updates about the project via Twitter (@seeing_data), Facebook and our blog where we aim to publish weekly articles about the study and the subject of visualisation literacy.
If you have any questions or contributions to make to the discussion about visualisation literacy, feel free to get in touch!
Alongside offering public and private data visualisation training workshops, I am a visiting lecturer at Maryland Institue College of Art (MICA) delivering post-graduate teaching for the Information Visualization MPS. This is taught online, beamed over to the US from my home office in the UK.
Here is a record of all my previous and upcoming speaking commitments at conferences and presentation events. Where possible I have shared links with published slide decks or videos. Get in touch if you would like me to speak at your event!
Giving a talk at Visualized.io in London
Speaking at the Data Visualization Group in the Bay Area Meetup at the University of San Francisco
Gave a webinar for Tableau Software
Spoke at ScienceComm in Switzerland
Spoke at the 'Visualize It!' event in Utrecht
Spoke at the London Business Analytics Group
Gave a talk at OpenVis Conference in Boston
Gave a talk at the School of Computing, University of Dundee
Speaker at the launch of the Dublinked Data Visualisation competition
Speaker at the Higher Education Strategic Planners' Association annual conference in Warwick
Speaker at the Design of Understanding annual conference in London
Speaker at the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA) Issue Brief event in London
Speaker at the INMA Conference in Oslo
Speaker at the NYC Data Visualisation Meetup
Speaking at an Information Design Association (IDA) event in London
Speaking at the Big Data Week London event
Speaking at II-SDV 2013 Conference in Nice, France
Keynote speaker at the Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operational Research annual seminar
Talk and workshop at the Dashboarding for Peak University Performance conference at the University of Nottingham
Talk given at Tableau UK HQ in Richmond
Talk and panel discussion at the Bank of England's 'The future of regulatory data and analytics' event
Talk given to folks at Facebook HQ in San Francisco (slide deck)
Talk given to folks at Tableau HQ in Seattle
Guest talk at the Big Dive EU event in Turin, Italy.
Presentation at a Nuffield Foundation event, exploring visual navigation for STEM subjects.
Speaker at the Chicago Data Visualisation Meetup
Speaker at Big Data Con, Mainz, Germany
Visualisation seminar at the School of Computing, University of Leeds
I have contributed - through speaking words into a recording device - on a number of podcasts
Data Stories Episode #37: Discussing the teaching of data visualisation
Nature Jobs Podcast: Discussing the teaching of data visualisation
Data Stories Episode #31: Reviewing the major trends and developments during 2013 and preview the main hopes and expectations for 2014
Data Stories Episode #16: Discussing our feelings on what was big in 2012 and our hopes and expectations for 2013
Interview on DataRemixed.com: Interviewed by Ben Jones about the state of data visualisation
Data Stories Episode #5: Covering the subject of data visualisation training
Data Stories Episode #4: Reflecting on Malofiej20, discussing the judging process, detailing the conference talks and the week in general
Elsewhere on this site you will see details of my first published book: "Data Visualization: A Successful Design Process", published by Packt.
I am delighted to have begun working on my second book, which will be published by SAGE (one of the "world's leading independent academic and professional publisher") and has a target published date of January 2016.
I'm not in position to share many details about the content of this text just yet but I can reveal that the working title is "Data Visualisation: A Handbook for Data Driven Design". As with all my endeavours, it will be aimed at covering in detail the practical craft of data visualisation. Once again, it won't be a glossy coffee-table gallery of works, or deep treatment of programming or a specific tool but something that delves into the nuances of critical thinking about data driven design.
One of the main things that excites me about this project is that the publishers have stated their commitment to explore some interesting innovations in the relationship between print and digital form: not just in replicating a text digitally but about creating a digital companion to the printed content. I think that is very important when discussing and presenting this subject. The second main thing that excites me is that the book will be printed in colour, which is terribly important for a topic such as data visualisation./p>
My experiences from writing the first book were that it is a painful slog, fraught with mental blocks, anxieties about added-value, fears of mis-quoting or mis-referencing ideas, frustrations at trying to secure permissions for image usage etc. I feel I have so much more to say about this subject and I'm confident, with the professional support SAGE will unquestionably provide me, that this second title will prove to be a valuable addition to your book shelves (digital and real)!
In addition to publishing articles on my own blog I have occasionally provided guest articles on other sites. Here are some of the most popular:
For the HBR Network: "Visualizing Zero: How to Show Something with Nothing" published on 1st May 2014
For the Better Life Index Blog: "The Value of Data Visualisation" published on 23rd May 2013
"Walking the tightrope of visualization criticism" published on 2nd July 2012
"10 Things You Can Learn From the New York Times’ Data Visualizations" published on 2nd April 2012
"Visualization deconstructed: Why animated geospatial data works" published on 19th October 2011