Andy Kirk is a freelance data visualisation specialist based in Yorkshire, UK. He is a visualisation design consultant, training provider, teacher, author, speaker, researcher and editor of the award-winning website visualisingdata.com.
After graduating from Lancaster University in 1999 with a BSc (hons) in Operational Research, Andy’s working life began with a variety of business analysis and information management roles at organisations including CIS Insurance, West Yorkshire Police and the University of Leeds.
He discovered data visualisation in early 2007, when it was lurking somewhat on the fringes of the web. Fortunately, the timing of this discovery coincided with Andy shaping his Master’s (MA) degree research proposal, a self-directed research programme that gave him the opportunity to unlock and secure his passion for the subject.
He launched visualisingdata.com to continue the process of discovery and to chart the course of the increasing popularity of the subject. Over time, this award-winning site has grown to become a popular reference for followers of the field, offering contemporary discourse, design techniques, and vast collections of visualisation examples and resources.
Andy became a freelance professional in 2011. Since then he has had the fortune of working with a diverse range of clients across the world, including organisations such as Google, CERN, Electronic Arts, the EU Council, Hershey, and McKinsey. At the time of publication, he will have delivered over 270 public and private training events in 25 different countries, reaching more than 6,000 delegates. Alongside his busy training schedule, Andy also provides design consultancy with his primary client being the Arsenal FC Performance Team, since 2015.
In addition to commercial activities, Andy maintains regular engagements in academia. Between 2014 and 2015 he was an external consultant on a research project called ‘Seeing Data’, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and hosted by the University of Sheffield. This study explored the issues of data visualisation literacy among the general public and, among many things, helped to shape an understanding of the human factors that affect visualisation literacy and the effectiveness of design.
He joined the highly respected Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) as a visiting lecturer in 2013 teaching a module on the Information Visualisation Masters programme through to 2017. From January 2016, he taught a data visualisation module as part of the MSc Business Analytics programme at the Imperial College Business School in London through to 2018.