A couple of days ago I organised the second #DataVizChat and this is the summary!
I think it’s nice to have an idea who everybody is talking to, so I open with some personal questions (Name and current location) as well as a visualisation related question and an ice breaker question.
In terms of locations we had a wild mix from most parts of the planet. I probably miss some but represented were New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, UK, US and El Salvador. Especially thanks for the 4 people from Singapore and India! For them it was 2am and 4am respectively!
The visualisation related question was with which tools people first started doing visualisation and I did not expect this question to spark so many discussions! I also didn’t anticipate to learn so much about the age of some of the participants through this question. Many of the tools I hadn’t even heard of let alone used. There were quite a few experienced participants who probably started using these tools when I did my first attempts on line charts in primary school. But also others used more lo-tech tools for their first visualisation exercises
What tools do you want to learn?
This was a question asked my me to get some discussions going and there was a lot of good discussions going on. Simply put, people split into 3 groups: Learning more technical aspects (Python, Alteryx), picking up other visualisation tools (D3, Tableau, PowerBI, Flourish, Datawrapper) and more design focused tools (Adobe Illustrator, Sketch).
I was surprised (and a bit glad) that most people faced the same problems as me picking up D3. Everybody is aware that it is a very powerful tool but without any interesting projects or a requirement at work, it is quite hard to dedicate the time outside of work to pick it up, especially if there are other tools at hand in which we could solve a problem a lot simpler. There are lots of tutorials out there and especially Observable made it a lot more accessible, now it is on us to get started and to persist.
What I also liked was that participants used this forum to seek opinions from others.
The discussion with the most attention was probable Brad question what helped people to get involved in the community. The replies are great and show:
- The common ways to get engaged (Forum, TUGs, #MakeoverMonday, writing a blog) and
- The common problems people face (Imposter syndrom, not feeling part of the community)
The whole discussion is worth a read and I would encourage everybody who would like to get more involved with the community to have a look and get some inspiration!
Jason and Vince asked for some other practical advise and got plenty of it as well. I think probably everybody found themselves in Jasons position at least once and while Vince’s question is very specific, from experience I can say that many organisations end up with an accidental admin who keeps the lights on rather than with one who knows the ins and outs of Tableau.
A few stats
I counted 31 participants for this event and 267 tweets with the #DataVizChat hashtag. I do build an archive of these tweets but for now there is not much to see. I plan to build something based on it after a few events.
In the meantime you can check out and follow the participants in this list.
The next #DataVizChat will happen around the middle of March and I will post the times as usual on Twitter.