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An Incomplete List of Females in Data Visualization

An Incomplete List of Females in Data Visualization

I rewrote this post 4 times, in an effort to give it a calm and professional tone. And then I thought “Ah fuck it, this is my blog and I can say whatever I want.” I’m writing this post because I just listened to an interview about data visualization. It took place among 4 men who were positioned around the globe and lasted over an hour. In that time, I didn’t hear them mention even one woman. In the references they posted, only men were listed. This post is to point attention to the awesome women in data visualization, not just out there kicking ass, but going the extra distance to show others how its done.

Bloggers with Data Viz Instructions

Ann Emery  How-to instructions on dataviz best practices, coauthor of the Data Visualization Checklist, and video guides on Excel formulas

Angela Zoss So happy someone pointed me to this blog

Russian Sphinx Tableau tutorials and more

Anya A’Hearn Screenshots of how to pull together an array of tools to create powerful viz

Cole Nussbaumer Preaching the best practices, right within Excel, with downloadable template to boot

Bloggers with Data Viz Advice

Lynn Cherny  She codes but her blog posts are not so much about that, rather they are excellent, thoughtful reads, including this one on starting to freelance your data viz skills

Tiffany Farrant  Considerate analysis of dataviz and a monthly roundup of the cool stuff in the field, working in Illustrator

Jen Underwood Business intelligence dataviz, across several platforms

Naomi Robbins Blogging for Forbes

Jen Stirrup Writing about big data, business intelligence, and SQL (so I don’t understand half of it but the other half is awesome)

Kelly Martin Sweet Tableau advice

Caroline Ziemkiewicz Not a blogger, but published a super important paper with Robert Kosara

Andee Kaplan Teaching & blogging on dataviz with R

Designers with Inspirational Portfolios

Jen Christiansen  Mainly scientific viz, lots of sankey, dot plots, inspiration

Hillary Mason  What you can do with code

Rachel Binx  Oh look at that coding skill!

Heather Krause  Infographics, the good kind

Kim Rees  Interactive dataviz central!

Meli Lewis Data scientist at Periscopic

Jane Pong  Elegant infographics, made without code

Kristina Szucs  Beautiful interactive displays, made me drool

Stefanie Posavec  Intricate, complex,  hand-made dataviz

Maral Pourkazemi Gorgeous infographics, full of graphs and none of that useless bullshit

Laura Kurgan Leading the Spatial Information Design Lab, kicking ass, taking names

Anna Powell-Smith She’s the one that made that awesome viz on dress sizes that made me want to buy a sewing machine

Iskra Velitchkova Making beautiful work at Mapacino

Kat Greenbrook Finalist in Information is Beautiful infographic contest

Uta Hinrichs Data + art in an understandable and accessible way

Isabel Meirelles Writing  and research too!

Mirjam Leunissen Running Dutch Data Design

Fernanda Viegas Wow!

Putting Dataviz in the News

Lena Groeger  ProPublica

Sisi Wei ProPublica

Kennedy Elliott Washington Post

Kat Downs Mulder Washington Post

Darla Cameron Washington Post

Emily Chow Washington Post

Katie Park Washington Post

Hannah Fairfield New York Times

Amanda Cox  New York Times

Alicia Parlapiano New York Times

Haeyoun Park New York Times

Alicia DeSantis New York Times

Jennifer Daniel New York Times

Alexis Lloyd  New York Times (R+D Lab)

Sarah Slobin Wall Street Journal

Rani Molla Wall Street Journal

Lisa Strausfeld Bloomberg

Soo Oh Chronicle Data

Lam Thuy Vo Al Jazeera

Joanna Kao Al Jazeera

Katie Peek Popular Science

Michelle Minkoff Associated Press

Kaeti Hinck MinnPost

Kelly Shea Seattle Times

Marianne Bouchart Bloomberg

Heather Billings Chicago Tribune

Speaking/Teaching on Dataviz (in addition to those above)

Mico Yuk  and dashboards!

Giorgia Lupi  Slides and video for some talks available

Tamara Milosevic  Teaching at FDV

Petra Isenberg Publishing research on dataviz. Be still my heart.

Gaia Scagnetti Lovely viz and lots of teaching

Irene Ros Interactive datavis developer, blogger and teacher

Tamara Munzner Teaching, publishing, testing the viz world

Katy Borner Teaching and publishing, especially on maps and networks & leading IVMOOC

Dona Wong Wrote The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics

Cindy Royal Teaching at Texas State University

Julie Koesmarno Workshops on SQL

Cynthia Brewer Among other things, the brains behind my favorite site, ColorBrewer

Michelle Borkin Of that famous research study on what makes a viz memorable, plus other stuff of course

Sara Irina Fabrikant Heavy research on maps, etc.

Heike Hofmann Profing at Iowa State

Deborah Swayne Researching & publishing at AT&T labs

Dianne Cook Teaching/publishing.visualizing climate change (hell yes!)

Sheelagh Carpendale Rocking it out at the University of Calgary

Miriah Meyer Check the qualitative study on how designers design with data

Cyndey Neilsen Using dataviz to understand genomics & saving the freakin world

Susan McGregor Teaching at the Columbia Journalism School

Chrys Wu What isn’t she doing?

Jessica Hullman Speaking on design trade-offs in this cool video

Tweeting about Dataviz (in addition to those above)

Jen Lowe

Sarah Groff-Palermo

Emily Kund

Anita Lillie

That’s more than 50 females in dataviz. You can see them all in my Twitter list. And I’m sure there are many more I have missed. And if we start looking at related fields, like all the women in this geoviz list, or amazing people like my friend Kylie Hutchinson, who address dataviz in broader contexts, the list becomes massive. Which is why it’s increasingly frustrating that we are repeatedly left out of the old boys club.

So GOOD LORD how is it 2014 and one of my primary fields is so male-dominated that I still have to bring attention to badass females??? One day, I’m going to be able to delete this post because it will be obsolete.

34 thoughts on “An Incomplete List of Females in Data Visualization
  1. cathy cirina-chiu says:

    kylie hutchinson also has some good webinars that include DV

    to be honest, all of the dataviz people I follow are women. ;)

    • Aaron says:

      Screw calm and professional. There’s nothing wrong with a point of view and a voice, and nonemotionality = professional is just an extension of masculinity = professional. This list is great, I’m going to learn so much!

  2. Ashley White says:

    I just want to say that you are the bomb diggity in data visualization. Your research is the only I have seen that can help everyone do a better job communicating with their audience. Thanks for giving props to all the women out there in our field.

  3. Monica Post says:

    You go girl!!! Awesome that you are setting the record straight!

  4. Tanya Ostrogorsky says:

    Woo-Hoo! Thanks for this awesome list!

  5. Robin Kipke says:

    Amen! Thanks for taking on this inequity Stephanie, and for bringing to our attention all of these knowledgeable women and their venues for sharing what they know.

  6. Laura Simmons says:

    Great post! But you missed one: Stephanie Evergreen. Ever heard of her? She’s pretty damn awesome and has the wittiest blog posts. :)

  7. Rae Torrie says:

    Go Stephanie! Sexism is still alive and well in all fields. Thank you for flying the flag for all the great women out there. And for your presentation here in Wellington, New Zesland yesterday…inspirational!

  8. Carlos Romero says:

    Well done, Stephanie. And don’t even get me started on the Latinos. Or wait. Are there any? :)

  9. Sheila B. Robinson says:

    You go girl!! I’m glad you didn’t go with your “calm and professional” rewrite. The raw language conveys your sincerity, passion, and energy. Next step – reach out to one or more of those interviewees and send them the link to this post!

  10. Danny DeBelius says:

    I would add my NPR colleague Alyson Hurt to this list:

    http://twitter.com/alykat
    http://morethanthis.net

  11. Irene Guijt says:

    Absolutely spot-on! The world is still way too male dominated on platforms and public fora. And infuriatingly not only with data visualisation. Add yourself to all those lists please.

  12. Carolina Rodriguez says:

    Hi there, just to flag that we are two women Architects from South America that do some nice visualizations for social and economic development reports. So if you were missing a few reps from the “South” here we are – Carolina Rodriguez and Pauline Stockins.

  13. Andrew Losowsky says:

    Thank you for writing this – there are many issues of data viz representation (including using ostensibly white male able-bodied silhouettes to represent “people”) that need to be addressed.

    I’d also add Shazna Nessa to the list of people writing and speaking about data viz. Here she is doing it:
    http://knight.stanford.edu/fellows/class-of-2014/shazna-nessa/

  14. Colin McMillen says:

    Another: Fernanda Viegas. (Full disclosure: she’s my manager :))

  15. Patricia Evans says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Stephanie for this and for all the work you’re sharing about data viz. Whoever those four men were, I’m willing to bet they aren’t nearly as helpful and generous – or as fun! – as you are!

    • Stephanie Evergreen says:

      Ah, they are good chaps :) Many of us have one form of privilege or another and it can be all too easy to forget about that privilege sometimes. I can say with confidence that this blog post has put gender back on their radar.

  16. Tamiza Abji says:

    Excellent, “calm and professional” can be overrated so thanks for being real. What an incredible list, looking forward to digging in!

  17. Benjamin Wiederkehr says:

    Wonderful effort to put together this list, Stephanie. I would have a few additions of the younger generation if you allow me:

    Anna Hodgson, http://annahodgson.com/
    Ri Liu, http://www.ri.id.au/
    Tania Boa, http://www.taniaboa.com/

  18. Sara says:

    LOVE this so much! As a female in the evaluation and research field, I follow your blog – as well as Ann’s…however, I will certainly add a lot of these to my regular reading.
    Thanks for putting this together and being REAL!

  19. Elissa S. says:

    Can I add my name to the list? I know I do more information graphics than data visualizations, but just saying…

    • Stephanie Evergreen says:

      Absolutely! I thought about you, Elissa, and wasn’t sure where to draw the line around what is dataviz and what is infoviz. A larger conversation for sure, but your work still should be highlighted.

  20. Ann K. Emery says:

    I know you’ve written a book and taught workshops and published articles and founded a TIG and keynoted conferences around the world, but this is the most important piece you’ve ever written. Well done Stephanie!

  21. Bryon Welch says:

    Allison McCann over at FiveThirtyEight does excellent work.

  22. Debra Dekker says:

    Stephanie — you go girl!! Tell it like it is without beating around the bush. Right on. And by the way, I bet there are thousands of us women behind the scenes using and implementing all these great dataviz techniques.

  23. Tom P says:

    I worked in the BBC’s visual journalism team with a bunch of excellent female designers notably Lulu Pinney, Helene Sears (both of whom have since left) and Charlotte Thornton.

    http://lulupinney.co.uk/
    http://helenesears.co.uk/
    http://www.charlottethornton.co.uk/

  24. Zander says:

    Amy Cesal, senior designer at the Sunlight Foundation, does fantastic data vis work — and created the foundation’s Data Visualization style guide, which is not to be missed. http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2014/03/12/datavizguide/

  25. Catherine Mulbrandon says:

    Thanks for this list. I would like to share my web site VisualizingEconomics.com where I post my visualizations about the economy (mostly US focused)

  26. Sandi Gubin says:

    Thanks! I love your response to what happened and love the wonderful resource list!

  27. Carrie Roy says:

    Great list! I also create data art and design tools for digital humanities data http://carrieroy.com/art http://carrieroy.com/tools

  28. Audree Lapierre says:

    Thank you for this list, was looking for one for a while. I run a dataviz studio in Montreal, I’d like to be added to the list if possible ;)

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Afternoon friends: The rules about when it's ok to NOT start your axis at zero. http://t.co/jDOKX3lP2o #dataviz

RT @esjewett: @evergreendata Yes! Also when the traditional 0-value is no more meaningful than any other value. Temperature, for instance.

RT @AnnKEmery: [New post] Span Charts: When you've only got the min and max, not a mean/median/frequency http://t.co/WQeKFvp0RF http://t.co…

Perhaps a controversial post: When It's Ok to NOT Start your Axis at Zero http://t.co/SdDeI7sHqP #dataviz

RT @parisakharazi: Useful find: Introducing the Data Visualization Checklist - http://t.co/oYPunrz33g Thanks for the great tips! @evergreen

Prepping interactive #dataviz example for workshop w/ K-12 folks next week. Instructions at http://t.co/7Eo7C6BFaN http://t.co/j9bf20iu5W

I'll be in #melbourne Nov 11-15. Grab some coffee with me? Ride a wave?

RT @squishymedia: Are you looking to show data in a compelling way? Take a look at this great read by @evergreendata from @NTEN! http://t.c…

RT @GGorczynski: Declutter your #Dataviz with Small Multiples by @EvergreenData http://t.co/pJY5enQQtW

Loving these slopegraphs RT @hfairfield Hugely informative; beautifully designed: Is the Affordable Care Act working? http://t.co/oCfUfGvA26