Identity Heft: Metrics and messaging, by the numbers


Today’s post on metrics and messaging is a double-whammy: it’s the first in my Identity Heft series, PLUS it’s an excerpt from my nonprofit communications planning toolkit. Workshop in a Box is an interactive guide to building (or reinforcing) your nonprofit’s communications from the ground up.   Take a moment and have another look at […]

The Perils of Pi


Happy Pi Day! On this, the most venerated of holidays, it seems only right to examine the use and misuse of circles in graphs. The circle is a friendly shape. Where squares and rectangles scream precision and rigidity, circles are more go-with-the-flow – which makes them ideal in data visualizations for non-science audiences. Yet behind […]

Axes of evil: How to lie with graphs


Hopefully-unnecessary disclaimer: This post is very much tongue-in-cheek. I do NOT condone anyone intentionally misleading their audiences. Rather, these graphs are presented as examples of what not to do. Use your powers for good, people.   As Mark Twain once said, “Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.” Here are […]

Tool report: Guiding impact tours with Knight Lab’s StoryMap


Maps are powerful. Stories are powerful. A StoryMap combines the best of both worlds to create a dynamic, engaging journey through space, time, and connection. This week we’re back at Northwest University’s Knight Lab to look at another one of their amazing, user-friendly storytelling tools: StoryMapJS.     Just like the Knight Lab’s Timeline, StoryMap […]

Infographics I Love


In honor of Valentine’s Day, I present to you four infographics that show how tiny creative twists can help non-technical audiences understand decidedly technical information. From carbon taxes to climate change to socioeconomics, these graphs definitely show their audiences a little love.   What you need to know about Alberta’s carbon levy This infographic by […]

How Do You Map the Unmappable?


I recently had the pleasure of working with two local changemakers who are vying for the 2017 Oxford Global Challenge. The goal of the Challenge is fairly straightforward: entrants are tasked with researching an issue of their choice, then mapping the issue’s complex web of players and finding opportunities for change. That mapping can be […]

Treading water in a sea of data


Remember those old Apple ads that listed off random daily tasks and hey – turned out “there’s an app for that”? I think “data” is the new “app.” Today you can find datasets on: Every move in every recorded chess game since the 10th century The entirety of Open Library’s holdings The ingredients of all […]