The split personality of data visualisation
Hi, I’m Flic…and hello, I am Felicity
Figures Represented is my brand new, shiny data visualisation and analysis company. (please bear with me, all will become clear)
As a new business start up I am involving myself in networking events through my Local Enterprise Partnership, meeting representatives from all sorts of sectors; manufacturing, technology, marketing and legal to name just a few. The data nerd in me gets very excited about the possible data streams to be found in these industries and what I could produce if I could get access. (even if she may never have the guts to ask)
At one of these events recently someone asked me what it was like working as a Data Scientist, apparently the role voted Sexiest Job of 2017. Nerd me went an interesting shade of red and stammered a little but then my artistic side, the bit of me that presents training, draws pictures and is very demonstrative in my passion for figures, analysis and helping people understand, pipes up…I LOVE IT! I adore bringing data together in a way that helps people understand it.
Data scientist, analyst, statistician, demographer, profiler, what ever you want to call it, may be the new “Sexy” but it is, in my opinion, also very misunderstood.
Organisations bring us in to look at the data and tell them what is happening, why and quite often, what is to come. We use the tools to collect, plot and assess the data journey, presenting our findings to people who want/need insight, the answer to SO WHAT?
To answer we also need understanding of the subject, changes in the marketplace, developments of both the product and the people it effects. Using two very diverse skills, analytical testing of figures and overarching strategic intelligence.
Creators of data visualisations and infographics push the need for dual personality a step even further. We take strong analytical capabilities, an understanding of what should and shouldn’t be done with the data and the ability to pull out the data story and add artistic flair, creative ability and a passion for presentation.
I have worked with skilled analysts who couldn’t put a professional picture of their data together and wouldn’t know where to start to explain their findings in an infographic. Graphic artists can create amazing images that add a slickness to your presentations/publications but they don’t always get the data enough (or want to, “ugh numbers!”) to know how to create a data visualisation that tells a clear, reliable story.
It takes someone that can tap into both sides, analytical and artistic to create a really great infographic. One that is clear, concise, shareable, engaging, with credible information that tell the data story without too much fuss. Someone like me.
I’ve always had two sides, the mathematician and the artist, both vying for a place in my life. It was only when I discovered the joy of data visualisation that I finally found my perfect job. As they say, choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I feel like that is true, even though, now I work for myself, I have to put that data nerd out of her comfort zone and into the market place. I’m still not sure if I’m comfortable with what I do being referred to as sexy, well not in public anyway, but I really do love it.
Just a small insight into me and what I do but, in my opinion, there are more than enough words on the page for one day. I suppose the next question is why infographics or even what are infographics but I’ll leave those for another time. In the meantime I will continue promoting the ethos Cut Words, Paste Pictures! (really, even after all these words 😊)