On-Demand Webinar

The Data Viz Debate

Get ready for this year’s big debate between hard-hitting data visualisation heavyweights Andy Kirk and Andy Cotgreave. They’re going head-to-head for five rounds to tackle some of the biggest issues in data visualization. And our special host for the debate is Amanda Hobbs, an expert infographics and data viz storyteller who will be keeping the Andy's on their toes.

The debate is on, here are the five rounds:

Round 1: Punk or Academic
What's the best approach to practising data viz, do you need to do a full course or just open up your favourtive tool and get going?

Round 2: Form vs. Function
Does 'form follow function' or is it the other way around? The Andy's will discuss how familiarity, speed of recognition, cognitive overload, and your quadrant of needs determines whether to choose form or function.

Round 3: Simple vs Complex Charts
How not to abdicate your responsibilities as an analyst? If you need a sign, it’s bad design! Is every chart type useful and usable?

Round 4: Blue-Orange: Love or Hate
Who said 'orange' represents good? Or is it blue?

Round 5: Blood Boilers
Find out what gets Andy Cotgreave's and Andy Kirk's blood boiling.

About the speakers

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Andy Kirk

Data Visualisation Specialist and Founder of visualisingdata.com

Andy Kirk is a UK-based freelance data visualisation specialist, and editor of visualisingdata.com. 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 launchedvisualisingdata.com. 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.

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Andy Cotgreave

Technical Evangelism Director, Tableau

Andy Cotgreave is a visual analytics expert who has been with Tableau in various roles since 2011 ranging from product consultant to social content manager. He is now Tableau's Technical Evangelism Director. Prior to Tableau he was a data analyst at the University of Oxford.

As a technical evangelist Andy helps people see and understand their data using Tableau’s innovative products. He shares his passion for visual analysis and technology with his writing, (eg Computerworld, on tableau.com and his own blog), speaking at industry conferences like SXSW and Tableau’s own events. He's also active on Twitter @acotgreave.

Andy’s role at Tableau gives him the opportunity to work with the media, analysts and customers across all industries to help them understand the trends in visual analytics and develop their own data-discovery skills.

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Amanda Hobbs

Founder, ATH Creative

Amanda Hobbs is an experienced researcher, writer, and visual content editor with a passion for storytelling via information graphics and data visualizations. Her clients include publishing and media outlets such as National Geographic, Scientific American, Taschen, and The New York Times Idea Lab. For more information and examples of past projects click here and here.

Before starting her own business, Amanda was the Art Research Editor for National Geographic magazine where she generated editorial content and worked with graphic designers in creating artwork, information graphics, and maps for the magazine's print and digital platforms.

Prior to her almost seven years with the magazine, Amanda worked for an historic preservation firm, an art museum, a fine art gallery, and as a freelance web writer. She holds a Bachelor's degree in History from Furman University, with a concentration/minor in Classical Studies. Her Master's degree in History from George Mason University included studies in historic preservation, museum exhibition development, documentary editing, and American history.

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