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The Data Debate: Andy Cotgreave vs Andy Kirk

Watch this debate between data visualisation heavyweights Andy Cotgreave and Andy Kirk as they discuss the biggest issues in data viz. You'll leave the debate with a fresh outlook on data visualisation design plus a number of useful tips and tricks.

Round 1: Has data lost its way in the public sphere?
Has the fake news phenomenon put the reliability of statistics in danger as readers become increasingly sceptical about data? Learn how data storytelling should be done to get the right response from your audience.

Round 2: Getting animated about animation
Animation is becoming increasingly popular in data viz but is animation actually effective at data-driven storytelling? Find out our experts views.

Round 3: Which comes first first? The chart or the question?
When building a data visualisation it can be difficult to decide whether you should start with a question or a chart type. Learn what the theory says and then see what works in the real-world.

Round 4: Big ass numbers – good or bad
Are Big Ass Numbers (large, KPIs) ornamental or informational? Do they just take up space on a dashboard without adding much analysis or does eye-tracking research tell us otherwise?

Round 5: Rapid-fire questions - defending the indefensible
The Andy's have 30 seconds each to defend a number of controversial chart types - joy charts, box plots, jitter plots, and stacked bars.

Check out the rest of the Building dashboards that inform and inspire webinar series.

About the speakers


Andy Kirk

Data Visualisation Specialist and Founder of

Andy Kirk is a UK-based freelance data visualisation specialist, and editor of After graduating from Lancaster University in 1999 with a B.Sc (hons) in Operational Research, he held a number of business analysis and information management positions at some of the largest organisations in the UK, including West Yorkshire Police and the University of Leeds.

In December 2009 Andy completed a Masters by Research M.A (Distinction) programme (University of Leeds), studying the subject of data visualisation and soon after This has grown to become a popular source of information about the increasingly popular data visualisation field, providing readers with information about contemporary techniques, resources, latest developments and key insights.

Andy became a freelance professional in 2011 focusing on data visualisation consultancy and training workshops. He has delivered over 100 public and private training events across UK, Europe, North America, India, South Africa and Australia. Some of his clients include Heineken, Disney, Intel, WHO, OECD and McKinsey. His teaching activities extend to being a visiting lecturer at the highly-respected Maryland Institute College of Art (US) teaching a module on the Information Visualisation Masters programme.

In December 2012, Andy released his first book entitled “Data Visualization: a successful design process”, a practical guide for anyone facing the challenges of designing data visualisations in the most effective and efficient way. He is now working on a second book, due to be published by Sage in 2015.

Between January 2014 and March 2015 Andy is working as co-investigator on a research project called ‘Seeing Data’ funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and hosted by the University of Leeds exploring visualisation literacy amongst the general public.


Jade Le Van

Senior Data Artist, Tableau Public

Jade joined Tableau's Paris office in 2015 and is promoting the use of Tableau Public, free version of the software coupled with a web publishing platform. She supports journalists, bloggers and academics in the creation of interactive data visualizations on a variety of topics.

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