If there’s anything we love at VisualCue, it’s passionate people. People with drive, determination and a cause are just more interesting to be around than people who sort of float through life.

At VisualCue, we’re passionate about a cause. We believe data should be transparent: anyone should be able to use it to make better decisions.

And what’s the biggest thing standing in the way of that cause? Confusing, outdated dashboards and spreadsheets that only a few people can understand.

Well, we were thrilled to find out that we were not the only ones interested in this cause. This week we’re spotlighting one of our favorite data visualization heroes: Cole Nussbaumer.

Fellow Storytellers

We probably should’ve guessed that we would like Cole from the first line of her bio. It reads “My goal is to help rid the world of ineffective graphs, one exploding, 3D pie chart at a time.” Seeing as ineffective graphs are one of the major stepping stones in our goal we couldn’t be happier to join her in that quest, ending the long reign of tyranny that outdated modes of visualization have held for far too long.

However, Nussbaumer continued to impress us when she described her thoughts on combining language and math to tell stories with data. In her own words, “I aim to teach storytelling with data through examples and practical tips. My goal is to bring data to life and use it to communicate a story to an audience, with a focus on simplicity and ease of interpretation.”

Long-time readers will no doubt remember our focus on data storytelling and using the incredible power of story to communicate an idea to an audience.

So what does Nussbaumer recommend?

Form and Function

Long-time readers will also know that on Friday we tend to gather and describe the most innovative, interesting data visualizations we have found around the Internet. Nussbaumer actually gives us some great thoughts on why these unique visualizations might be useful.

And it all comes down to form and function. Nussbaumer writes “novelty shouldn’t be prioritized over effectiveness.” And while interesting data visualizations are more fun to look at than your average bar graph, the very best are the ones that offer a new perspective on the information you wouldn’t get otherwise.

movie data visualization
You’ll never see movies the same way again

Take this visualization she pulled from Kristina Szūcs. We’ve been thinking a lot about movies lately and this unique visualization is an interesting way to immediately see use how much profit various films in different genres have made.

This is a truly great example of the form and function Nussbaumer was talking about. The larger the spotlight, the larger the profit. The result is a great visualization that is faster and easier to consume than any traditional view.

We’re proud to join Cole Nussbaumer in her quest to bring effective visualizations to the world.

Until next time,

The VisualCrew