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Where Have I Seen You?

Publicly-available places where my visualizations, or my thoughts about visualization, have been featured.

Conference Presentations

In addition to the hundreds of in-person and online sessions I've presented to corporate clients, I've also spoken at the main Tableau Conference three times, and have delivered shorter talks to regional and internal user groups several times. Where available, the titles of these presentations link to videos of the actual sessions.


London Tableau User Group 

This presentation talks about the use of narratives in communicating analytic insights: how to create one, why your dashboard needs one, and why bad ones stick around (even when the data proves they’re wrong).


SF Bay Tableau User Group (Jan 2020)

2019 Tableau Conference, Las Vegas 
Phoenix Tableau User Group 

Boston Tableau User Group 

In this session, two Tableau Visionaries* well-known for their design expertise will outline an approach to making exceptionally successful visual products in Tableau. You'll hear about how great designs are built, what decisions designers are making during the creative process, and, most importantly, how EVERYONE who uses Tableau can become better and more consistent designers. If you’ve ever lacked confidence in your “design skills,” this session is for you, because the biggest secret to be revealed is that success in dataviz creation lies … beyond design.
*The Tableau Visionary program was called the "Tableau Zen Master" program in the two different years that I was selected and honored to be a part of it, including at the time this presentation was created. With the decision to rename the program in 2021, Tableau encouraged all previous honorees to retroactively switch to using the new nomenclature, which I have happily done here.



DC Data Visualization Meetup (Jan 2019)

2018 Tableau Conference, New Orleans 

Whether it’s for fun, for practice, for activism, or for pure curiosity, creating your own visualizations and putting them out in public has a tremendous upside—for you, your company, and the world. It doesn't have to be scary! In this talk, we will discuss various facets of public visualizations such as how to start vizzing in public, common design pitfalls to watch for, how to get comfortable with not succeeding, and much more.

2018 Tableau Conference, New Orleans 

DC Tableau User Group

You've decided you want to up your Tableau game, and you think you could use a mentor to help you. Great! A formalized, focused mentoring relationship can accelerate your professional development no matter what your level of expertise, from absolute beginner to seasoned veteran. After all, you don't need to go it alone: a good mentor can be an advocate, a facilitator, a guide, a teacher, and a coach. But to get the most out of your mentorship, it takes a commitment and investment in the process—on the part of both the mentor and the mentee. In this session, you'll hear about the specific benefits of finding—and being—a mentor, how to find the right mentoring relationship for you, and hear mentorship success stories from the Tableau community.

Tableau Fringe Festival EMEA 

An online conference talk about the power and responsibility of public expression.


In 2022, I began to host occasional episodes of the popular storytelling with data podcast; sometimes I would interview a single guest, sometimes I would answer questions on my own, and sometimes I would host roundtable events. Prior to this, I had also been asked to guest on several audio and video podcasts over the years. Here, you can find descriptions of, and links to, some of those episodes.



Alberto Cairo drops by to talk about his new book The Art of Insight, which offers a unique take on data visualization. In conversation with data storyteller Mike, Cairo shares his Camus-inspired belief that life's meaning comes from community and work, and how that conviction shapes his own interests and endeavors. They discuss the impact of artificial intelligence on journalism, how seemingly frivolous pursuits can actually be essential, and where to find personal and professional connection amidst ever-changing online communities. Eschewing the mantle of “thought leader,” Cairo reveals why he is reluctant to wield the "soft power" he holds in the data visualization community. Tune in for a fascinating exploration of responsibility, the political nature of work, and the human aspects behind visualization.

Mike and Alex discuss the advantages and drawbacks of designing visualizations with light and dark backgrounds, using examples from SWD community members to highlight where each approach can be preferable. Then, they dive into history and discuss the staying power of some famous graphs. What makes them memorable—and how we might be able to elevate them, using modern tools and perspectives?

SWD storytellers Elizabeth and Mike join forces to tackle some thorny questions about connecting with your audience: how do you know if you’ve done a good job, and what if you have to deliver bad news? Later, in light of a recent “partner up!” challenge on the SWD website, they explore the benefits of working together with colleagues, friends, strangers, and even family members, while sharing some lessons learned from their own collaborative experiences. 

SWD storytellers Simon and Mike offer their thoughts on how the recent advancements in AI tools may transform the way we analyze and communicate with data. They also discuss some of their favorite entries and interesting themes from the most recent SWD challenge on the quantified self.  


Why don’t we use triangles in charts more often? Can design considerations come before we have the data? Do we take data visualization too seriously? Author, speaker, and data literacy advocate Neil Richards raises (and occasionally answers) these and other questions in his new book, Questions in Dataviz: a Data-Driven Process for Data Visualization. In this episode, Neil stops by the podcast to talk about the value of creativity, personal passion projects, experimentation in data visualization, and whether dataviz can change the world.

As anyone who has ever participated in a fantasy league can tell you, the most fun part of the whole experience is drafting your team. We took that idea to heart, and imagined, “What if, instead of drafting professional athletes, we did a fantasy draft of chart and graph types?” The data storytellers at SWD and premium members of our online community recently did just that, taking part in a (mostly!) friendly competition to build themselves the strongest possible roster of methods for visualizing information. What chart type was chosen first overall? Did anybody pick pie charts? And, who do YOU think wound up with the best team? Listen to find out!

How can we use beauty to convey meaning, and form to guide function, in our communications? In this episode of the SWD podcast, Dr. Vidya Setlur and Bridget Cogley explore these questions with data storyteller Mike Cisneros. In their upcoming book Functional Aesthetics for Data Visualization, Vidya (the “academic”) and Bridget (the “practitioner”) explore the relationships among what we see, how we encode information, and what we mean. You’ll hear about the “bento box” model of organizing our information; how text, tone, register, and language affects our visualizations; how our relationship to food can inform what makes a communication effective; and how to go beyond “it depends” when considering the answers to challenging questions. 

Data storyteller Mike Cisneros sat down with Iron Viz champion, Tableau Visionary, and self-described “data jackalope” Joshua Smith to talk about how folklore—the study of how information is communicated, primarily through informal means—provides us a fascinating lens through which to examine how data visualization has evolved and continues to develop, both as a discipline and as a community of practitioners. You’ll learn how “best practices” emerge, transform and persist (or are discarded) over time, how informal communication and culture can have unexpected effects on how our work is received, the inextricable links between belief and “objective” data, and how a storyteller can position themselves to be most effective.

Through our workshops, we get the rare opportunity to meet thousands of people every year, across a huge variety of industries, companies, and roles. We never know what kinds of questions we’re going to be asked. In this episode, SWD storyteller Mike Cisneros highlights a few recent notable questions, ranging from chart choices, to design, to presentation. The range of topics may be broad, but the commonality among everything discussed here is that they’re answers to questions you asked.


The storytelling with data team has been a work-from-home team since the beginning and in this episode, Randy and data storytellers Elizabeth, Mike, and Alex discuss how to be productive, stay engaged and maintain sanity when working remotely from others. Tune in to hear learnings ranging from the importance of a comfortable chair to pro-tips for video conferencing and staying connected with colleagues. With a thoughtful approach, working from home means you can fit work into the rhythm of life and measure success based on accomplishments, rather than hours in the office.



DSR Podcast: Episode 6

David Murphy, better known as Datasaurus Rex, interviewed me about my baseball salaries dataviz, "Play (But Don't Pay) the Kids," for his video podcast. I don't like to play favorites, but I love the production values David brings to his podcast, and I enjoy his style of hosting quite a bit. There's an audio version of this podcast at, but I think the video version is worth your time.



Podcast Your Data: Episode 68

David Pires interviewed me, along with several other members of the Tableau community, on this Interworks-sponsored show to talk about our upcoming presentations at the 2018 Tableau Conference in New Orleans. 


Hashtag Analytics: Season 1, Episode 5

A video podcast about Tableau and dataviz with hosts Luke Stanke and Ann Jackson.

Teknion Webinar

In this webinar co-hosted by Bridget Cogley and Joshua Milligan, the presenters deconstruct several notable data visualizations to reveal the techniques behind the designs. In this episode, Joshua chose to deconstruct Oil and Gold, one of my designs from 2017.

Tableau Wannabe Podcast 

The long-running Tableau podcast hosted by Matt Francis and Emily Kund.

Publications and Press

My writing and my visualizations have appeared in many places over the years. Most recently, since joining storytelling with data in 2019, I have written on a variety of data visualization and communication topics for the company's official blog. Some of my articles are linked in the pertinent section below. In addition, I have been invited to contribute articles to other corporate blogs, which are noted in the "guest author" section. Finally, my visualization work has appeared and been referenced in multiple books, magazines, and online publications. 

FOR Storytelling with data






AS A Guest author

The Beyond Design Series for Tableau Software

A series of articles co-authored with Layla Manheim discussing the philosophy behind our design decisions, and an accessible approach to design in data visualization that focuses on the information experience for the audience, rather than the mechanics of the visualization itself. It formed the core lessons of our eventual Beyond Design presentation at the 2019 Tableau Conference (and elsewhere).

  1. Effective data visualizations share this magical hidden structure 

  2. Creating, not designing: the four goals of every information experience

  3. Beyond the hook: building information experiences for attention and engagement

  4. Usability is the most satisfying design puzzle to solve

  5. How to build information experiences for comprehension

  6. How to get people to remember your visualization

The storytelling with data challenge

At the request of Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, I created the topic and sample data visualization for one of the monthly challenges posed by Storytelling with Data, and contributed to Elizabeth Ricks's wrapup post as well.


The Tableau Public blog for Tableau Software

I was asked to write a guest post for the Tableau Public website about my Two Dozen Candidates visualization.



Andy Kriebel and Eva Murray (Wiley Publishing) | This 2018 book discusses the history of the Tableau community's collaborative public visualization initiative, #MakeoverMonday. It also traces many of the lessons learned by participants over the three years of the initiative's existence, and includes examples of work from many of the most active members. Designs of mine are featured several times, and I am profiled within the book as one of the project's long-term contributors.

Forbes | Eva Murray used visualizations of mine as examples of how aesthetic and editorial choices can take factually accurate data analyses and transform them into emotionally affecting visuals.

Distinct Values | This roundup on of their collaborative effort with Tableau to visualize the data behind epochal moments in African-American history featured one of my visualizations.

Data Archaeology | A one-on-one discussion with Michael Sandberg.

Cloudstream Partners | An interview by Rebecca Roland.

Tableau Public | Article by Chantilly Jaggernauth highlighting a viz I created for the 2018 #VisualizeDiversity campaign.


Fast Company / Co.Design | Article by Katharine Schwab highlighting my American Political Universe visualization.

BID Factor Trabajo | Article featuring my visualization about LATAM youth employment.


Slate | Jordan Ellenberg wrote an article prior to the 2016 Presidential election featuring my visualizations about prediction models.


Featured Visualizations

When I was actively creating Tableau visualizations for the general public, they were frequently identified as worthy of note by Tableau themselves. Several of my pieces were selected as "Viz of the Day," and others were included in galleries intended to highlight and showcase the flexibility and potential of that particular software.

Conference Presentations
Publications and Press
Featured Visualizations

Selected as Tableau's Viz of the Day


This is a multi-stage visualization about hurricanes, cyclones, tropical storms, and tropical depressions, using IBTrACS data (which combines 10 different observation stations' input to create a globally-aggregated best-estimate storm track for every tropical event since 1850). With gridded population data from CIESIN (splitting the world into squares 30 minutes on a side, or about 1500 square miles), I determined which populated areas on Earth had spent the most total days directly under the center of a hurricane or tropical storm. Subsequently, I created a visualization whereby viewers could select any city with population of 1 million residents or more, and see how many storm centers have tracked within 50, 100, or 250 miles of that city.

As part of a collaboration with the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project, I created this geographic visualization. It combined gridded population estimates with ACLED's conflict event database to determine which places in Asia and Africa had the highest rates of mortality due to political conflicts. 

This visualization used simulated data from the Visualize No Malaria project to show the decline in malaria cases within the Southern Province of Zambia.

This visualization chronicled the history of a two-year-old campaign to promote undiscovered design talent and get more people connected to a broader network of data visualization professionals and enthusiasts.


This visualization depicts the ideological leanings of every U.S. Member of Congress in history based on DW-NOMINATE scores.

This visualization is an interactive tool meant to raise awareness about the lack of racial crossover in American surnames, and the unconscious biases we associate with something as innocuous, and simultaneously as essential, as a person's name.


This visualization is about the most valuable second language to learn, based on analysis performed in conjunction with Michael Brinn.


This visualization explores differences among the four major professional sports leagues in the United States, specifically relating to the likelihood of teams' playoff successes based on regular season performances.

Featured in Tableau's Public Gallery

Originally created as part of the #MakeoverMonday project, this visualization compares the rise and fall of monthly oil and gold prices over the past several decades. It was also selected as one of the works hung in the visualization gallery during Tableau Conference Europe 2017. 

A visualization created as part of the #MakeoverMonday project, depicting how much water our food drinks, courtesy of the Water Footprint Network and UNESCO.


A visualization showing data from the Inter-American Development Bank on youth employment in Latin American countries.

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