I am a Calgary based data designer and artist. I design evidence based projects for people by creating intuitive, emotive and playful visualizations from large complex datasets. I also create handmade physicalizations, or data sculptures, from small datasets, so that viewers can touch and feel data. I am exploring how a physical form can make data accessible and relatable using various senses and encodings. I come from the human computer interaction lab at the University of Calgary. There I was working on a three year research project under Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale and Dr. Wesley Willett designing energy data visualizations for the National Energy Board, now the Canadian Energy Regulator, and Annette Hester of The Hester View.
Types of data
I create map based data visualizations using location data using csv, and shapefiles, in the form of polygons, points and lines.
I analyze and create visualizations where the key insights are numeric, using Excel, and csv files.
I have also worked with data that is primarily text.
Analysis and characterization
My process starts with diving deep into the data to understand the nuances and the shape of it. What is the story this data is telling? As I am learning about a new subject matter, it often involves the data experts who have domain knowledge. Data understanding can take anywhere from a week to many months depending on the complexity of the dataset. My data understanding can involve creating quick and dirty visualizations with tools such as Excel, Raw or Tableau for initial characterization.
Sketching and Iteration
Sketching and iterating is a how the project moves from data understanding to concept development and then final detail design. Because data is at the core of the design, going back and forth using real data, is central to the creative process, as is getting feedback. To sketch the data, I often use a subset, and paper and pen, or 3D materials. Then I move to online tools to work with all the data and finesse the attributes of the visualization and interactions. With the final detail design ready, it moves to development.