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Kristen Sosulski- Associate Professor NYU Stern and Author of Data Visualization Made Simple

Kristen Sosulski.jpg

Kristen is an Associate Professor at NYU Stern and regularly consults, delivers seminars, and leads workshops on data visualization techniques and best practices. She is also the Director of the Learning Science Lab for NYU Stern where she leads teams to design immersive learning environments for professional business school education.

Show Notes

Part 1

Kristen’s background and the book about Data Visualization (02:32) 

I've been a professor in the Business School ever since 2011 and I've been teaching at the University level probably since 2004. My passion for communicating information, data and insights, started while I was at the Graduate School. 

Throughout my career I've always been at the center of business education and technology. 

Right now, I’m also the director for our learning science lab. 

Putting Data Sets Together And Having Clear Data (05:11) 

First, you should know what your data represents in the real world. The hardest part is seeing if your questions can be answered with the data that you have.  

What you want to do first is - you want to come up with a set of questions that are interesting or that will probe further data exploration. Then those can help you develop what we call a data understanding. 

The Right Tools Set For Analyzing Data (07:32) 

I'll probably run some summary statistics and also look at maybe something like a correlation matrix to see if any of the variables in my data set are correlated with one another. 

How To Approach Merging Multiple Datasets (11:23) 

When you are using any social media platform, you could have multiple feeds coming into a dashboard at once, but then it's how you evaluate that data that takes time. 

Google Data Studio or Google Sheets can be connected to different data sources which can then visualise your data. 

You can also use some more sophisticated business intelligence tools. The ones that are designed specially for visualization, like Tableu. 

Tips For Adopting The Tool (14:21) 

First you want to make sure that you have an understanding of what data the organization has and who has access to it. 

Setting up data governance rules, some rules around data collection, around data sharing and access etc., are going to be the foundation. 

Secondly, you need to figure out how people across the organization can use this data to answer questions that are pertinent to their everyday activities.

Part 2

Different Ways That Marketers Can Visualize Their Data (02:32)

The great thing is that you have like 30 to 50 different chart types at your disposal. However, not all those chart types are going to be interpretable to your audience. You want to pick charts that clearly communicate a key message.

Getting Your Narrative Across And Best Tips For Visualization (06:29)

First, start with a question for the audience. How do you get your audience invested in what you're going to show and tell them?

Anything that you show on the screen needs to be clearly outlined. Just because it's on the screen doesn't mean your audience can see it.

You need to have a guiding explanation for every graphic that you show. Explain data points that the audience should be looking at.

Do’s and Don’ts When Creating Visualizations (12:08)

You want to make sure that any information that you show to your audience is readable. Give your audience a question to think about. Also, be truthful and ethical with data. Citing your data source is really important. Be concise and simple when presenting data.

Resources For Getting Better at Visualization (13:32)

If you're not really solid with working with data, it's great to get training in statistics and different types of regression techniques. There are plenty of online tutorials too. There are also specialized workshops that are held by great visualization designers like Edward Tufte and David McCandless.

And of course, you can also check my book Data Visualization Made Simple. We also offer a fully online course on visualization through NYC Stern School of Business.