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DataViz in the Movies

Data visualization often references comics, film, and mythology for inspiration. The emotional and visual nature of entertainment media provide powerful lessons for us on how to better communicate complex information to a broader audience. But just as we benefit from Hollywood’s tips and tricks, feature films also take short-cuts from our world to weave audiences through its narratives.

Charts, maps, timelines and other diagrams have been used across the entire history of cinema for exposition (pausing to explain the backstory of the film’s universe or the plan for the next adventure) and mood creation (establishing a detailed and complex world such as the cockpit of a spacecraft or the detective’s mental map). Here’s some of the best of Hollywood dataViz: READ MORE

Turning Data into Cash

How to create meaningful businesses with information

Cash-making data gnome, by RJ Andrews

Everyone is giving away all of their data to anyone willing to listen. But beware: the products and services you build (how you get cash) on top of this newfound data lode are not equal. READ MORE

Complex Curiosity

How an engineer renounced control and embraced the real world

From complicated to complex: my journey through spaceships, an MBA and medicine to learn how to work in an irrational, chaotic, complex world. Illustration by RJ Andrews.
From complicated to complex: my journey through spaceships, an MBA and medicine to learn how to work in an irrational, chaotic, complex world. Illustration by RJ Andrews.

I thought becoming an engineer would help me understand how the world works. As a high school STEM nerd, I saw the world as a technical place and a technical proficiency as a practical necessity — if you could build a jet engine, what couldn’t you do? And doesn’t it sound like fun? And boy did I have fun. I got to work on the Ferrari F430, a stealth warship, and the biggest baddest LEGO set of them all: NASA’s Space Shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center.

But something was missing. READ MORE

Navigating Data

navigating data with lessons from master storytellers

As a professional data storyteller, I use pictures to show you numbers. Sometimes the pictures are really pretty, sometimes the numbers are controversial — but the pursuit always is to humanize a complicated and complex world into a package that you can more easily appreciate. To create these experiences with data I have learned a lot from different master storytellers across many media: myth, science, comics, radio and film. READ MORE

Data City

Data storytelling and the graphic novel are smashed together in one adventure through the numbers behind the city built on numbers: Las Vegas, Nevada. Explore the underside of tourism, gambling, and entertainment as we move through one exciting evening on the Strip.


Alternatively, you can click through the gallery below: READ MORE

Board Member Overlap

The CEO of Disney is on the board of Apple, whose CEO is on the board of Nike, which has a board member on Disney… which all got me thinking: how many powerful companies are connected via their board of directors?:


Are you surprised how well networked most of the boards of DowJones top 30 companies are… or surprised that not all 30 companies are connected? I find it fascinating that several people serve on the boards of not two, but THREE of the most powerful companies in the world. READ MORE

Endangered Safari


The ENDANGERED SAFARI project contains all of the large African mammals along with juicy info like animal size, family, population trend, range, and IUCN threatened species status. The static version, above, is an artsy layout that makes a great print, but to really dig into the data, including individual animal range maps, you will have to jump on a computer (it’s not built for mobile) and play with the interactive below by hovering over each READ MORE