about cole

my goal: to help rid the world of ineffective graphs, 
one exploding, 3D pie chart at a time

In school, we learn much about language and math. In language, we are taught how to tell stories. In math, we are taught how to make meaning out of numbers. But it's rare that the two are paired: we don't learn how to make stories out of numbers or how to enable data to speak. This means we often rely on our tools to help us understand best practices. And our tools allow us to easily do some very bad things (e.g. 3D, pie charts, meaningless color).

My name is Cole. I've always had a penchant for turning data into pictures and into stories. I'd like to share what I have learned (and am learning) with you. I've honed my data visualization skills over the past decade in analytical roles in banking, private equity, and most recently at Google, where I developed and taught a course on communicating effectively with data. Currently, my focus is on helping organizations and individuals be more effective data storytellers through my custom and public workshops. I also offer consulting services.

Through this blog, I aim to teach storytelling with data through examples and practical tips. My goal is to bring data to life and use it to communicate a story to an audience, with a focus on simplicity and ease of interpretation.

More from Cole: 

Interviews
6/28/13 interview with Arnie Kuenn for Content Marketing Institute
6/20/13 interview with Francis Gagnon, of VoilĂ 
4/25/13 interview with Miguel Barbosa, of Klevr.org

Publications
Getting your Point Across: Leveraging Preattentive Attributes for Visual Communication
International Institute of Analytics white paper, Dec 2012 (proprietary)
Visualizing Philanthropy, Alliance Magazine, Sep 2012
Data Stories, Google Think Quarterly, Apr 2012

Videos