Welcome back to another recap of our livestream series, If Data Could Talk! Each episode, data experts from the community share resources you can read, watch, or listen to around the topic of data literacy. This episode features co-hosts Andy Cotgreave, Technical Evangelist at Tableau, and Amanda Makulec, MPH, Senior Data Visualization Lead at Excella, along with special guest RJ Andrews, Data Storyteller at Info We Trust.

Florence’s rose chart

In celebration of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, Andy begins the episode with a segment about her famous rose diagram. We get an overview of the chart, which shows that many soldiers were dying of curable diseases during the Crimean War. Andy shares his favorite aspect of the visualization—the fact that Florence chose to show the data in an easily digestible chart, getting the insights to the audience quickly. Watch the segment here.

Next, we hear from Amanda about her favorite part of Florence’s chart—the advocacy behind it. Amanda explains that the power of an innovative chart is that it gets people to stop, learn, and take in information. Watch the segment here.

RJ joins the conversation to point out that Florence’s visualization would be considered a “custom viz” in modern times. The chart isn’t a tool for exploration or analysis, it’s a tool for communication or persuasion. Watch the segment here.

Historic viz as a source of inspiration

RJ starts this segment by discussing one major source of Florence’s inspiration—the birth of social science. We also hear about RJ’s personal collection of Florence Nightingale publications and why he believes looking at historic visualizations is so important. Watch the segment here.

Wait—there’s more!

Subscribe to our blog