I’m excited to start a new section of my blog dedicated to data visualization and data stories!

I started learning about data visualization while working on a course for Udacity’s Data Analyst Nanodegree program. The course covers data visualization fundamentals — visual encodings, chart types, color theory, common pitfalls and data narratives — and D3.js, a JavaScript library for manipulating documents with data.

I knew little about data visualization before teaching the course so I took to books, the web, and news publications to augment my knowledge. I read books from Edward Tufte and Alberto Cairo. I reviewed curriculum from Washington University (thanks Jeff Heer), Rice (thanks Hadley Wickham), UC Berkeley, and Duke University. I listened to podcasts from Moritz Stefaner and Enrico Bertini over at Data Stories. And I curated knowledge from sites such as VizWiz, PerceptualEdge, and StorytellingWithData. Needless to say, I was immersed in data visualization and loved analyzing the science and art of any graphic that I found.

I learned much about information design through that process, and I continue to learn more about the field each week. I look forward to sharing new insights and graphics. I hope you’ll join me in continuing the conversation about graphics. Whether graphics are static, interactive, colorless, colorful, beautiful, hideous, artful, minimal, honest, confusing, or informative, they all try to convey a message. Let’s see how to convey that message best.