Happy New Year from the Emerys! Here's our attempt at a a family selfie. Anyone else have trouble getting their toddler to look at the camera?!

Happy New Year from the Emerys! Here’s our attempt at a a family selfie. Anyone else have trouble getting their toddler to look at the camera?!



Last fall I was in beast mode and began planning, strategizing, scheming, and optimizing for 2018. What would my upcoming year look like?! I had so. many. ideas. But who cares what little ol’ Ann is up to? I reached out to my favorite dataviz rockstars to see what’s on their agenda for 2018. Here’s what they said:

Ben Collins, benlcollins.com

In 2018, my goal is to continue growing the online training arm of my business, by enrolling more students and launching 4 – 6 new online video courses, including courses on Google Data Studio (the new dataviz tool from Google), Google Apps Script and SQL. From a personal point of view, I want to further my technical knowledge, especially of Apps Script and data science topics, through regular weekly coding, case studies and writing in-depth tutorials on my website.

Jorge Camoes, excelcharts.com

Go a bit deeper into statistics and datavis integration. I’m having fun learning JMP, so I’m not sure if I’ll stick with or use it as a gateway into R.  Explore the design of structured visualizations (small multiples, panel charts, etc) and free-form visualizations (dashboards, infographics). Blog more, be a more active member of some communities, create more free and premium content, add examples to Andy Kirk’s Chartmaker Directory. And, the most challenging of all, leave my comfort zone and accept more invitations for public speaking.

Alberto Cairo, thefunctionalart.com

Write my next book.

Andy Cotgreave, gravyanecdote.com

My resolution is to seek out things that knit the world of data together. I want to read more, and more widely. I’m really enthused about finding inspiration from all walks of life, and thinking how they relate to the world of data. It could be the neuroscience of magic, storytelling in board games, or the psychology of decision making. I’ll be sharing these ideas in my Sweet Spot column on LinkedIn. And if all goes to plan, there might even be a more exciting announcement!

Ann K. Emery, www.annkemery.com

Keep doing what I’m doing–a dual focus on speaking and design and a dual focus on analysis and visualization–and ignore the noise. Continue beefing up my ebook and turn it into a book book. Plan the curriculum for a series of online courses so that I’m ready to rock them in 2019!

Stephanie Evergreen, stephanieevergreen.com

My resolution this year is to reduce the environmental impact of my life on the road. I’m so good at this at home but once I’m on the road, it’s all water bottles and disposable crap. I’ve committed to traveling with a reusable water bottle and purchasing carbon offsets for my miles in the air. I’ll be looking for other ideas throughout the year too.

Andy Kirk, visualisingdata.com

The first goal for 2018 is I want to find a way to carve out more time to reflect, to learn, to read and to generally improve in a more organised and efficient way rather than trying to squeeze out random and often chaotic opportunities as I chase my to-do list and schedule of working commitments. I have so many books, articles and papers to read that I’ve only really skirted over. As 2018 will be the year when I return to book writing with the commencing of composing the second edition of my book, this should give me the opportunity I need. I also have a number of personal/passion projects that I hope to undertake that will enable me to flex different capabilities and, most likely, push me out of my normal comfort zone. That’s a good thing, especially for the low risk context of one’s own work, rather than a client’s. I have had a permanent resolution each year for the past decade that states how this year will be the year I learn x, y or z tool. I still have that very much in mind but I only have so many hours in the day and I suspect it will a major strand of development that will be necessary to nudge forward into 2019 – more likely to be achievable after my post book-writing period. Commercially, I will be very content to have more of the same type and quantity of opportunities to run training events and engage on design/consultancy projects. As a freelancer, one should never be complacent and certainly shouldn’t wish for less work but a continuation of 2017 will represent a nice balance to ensure continued growth without the cost of burnout.

Elissa Schloesser, myvisualvoice.com

Develop my voice. Take time to document and share my perspective. Make writing on my blog (www.myvisualsidekick.org) a priority.

Jon Schwabish, policyviz.com

As we get into 2018, there are a few things in the dataviz world that I want to think a bit more deeply about: How do we create effective dataviz for social media? What are some other issues with maps and geographic data to explore further? How can we better communicate uncertainty? How do we use data and data visualization to grab people’s attention and interest in complex, but inherently important, policy issues? I’m also looking forward to further developing some Excel tools to help people and organizations create stylized graphs more quickly and easily. And, of course, talking to more cool people for my podcast.



What’s your data-related resolution for 2018? Is there a particular book(s) you want to read? A skill you want to hone? A conference you want to explore for the first time? Let us know in the comments!