Dataviz influencers: Bret Victor, Amanda Cox, Santiago Ortiz

Learning about the most important and influential people in data visualization is something every beginning designer and data journalist should know. By getting to know their worl, you get exposed to the best practices, approaches and tools of the trade and always stay up-to-date. In the previous post, Giorgia Lupi, founder and design director at Accurat has told us about her favourites. This time, we have asked German data visualization and mobile interaction designer Dominikus Baur about who he thinks are the most influential people in visualization and design. Here they are: Bret Victor, Amanda Cox and Santiago Ortiz. Read what Dominiukus Baur says about these dataviz professionals.

Bret Victor

“Even though Bret doesn’t explicitly define himself as a datavis person (as far as I know), I think that when it comes to the way we interact with computers, he’s one of the most inspiring people working today. His ‘Inventing on Principle’ talk blew my mind and his essays and other talks that are all freely available on his website point us towards a much more humane way to teach the machines what we want them to do. After the seeming end of inventions in computer programming in the early 70ies, Bret is a glimmer of hope for all of us who have to program to make their living”.


Amanda Cox, NYT Graphics Department

“When it comes to data visualization, I really admire Amanda Cox and her team at the New York Times. They’re doing a fantastic job at producing inventive, smart and informative graphics at a plain scary pace (datavis freelancers should be grateful to the Times for keeping those folks occupied!). But not only is the Graphics Department constantly pushing the envelope when it comes to accessible visualizations, they also fund the development of datavis tools (or at least leave their employees the freedom to work on them): most prominently, d3.js by Mike Bostock, but also things like Mr. Data Converter (by Shan Carter) come to mind”.

Santiago Ortiz

“If I had to summarize Santiago’s datavis projects, I’d probably call them wonderfully weird. They blur the boundaries between visualization and data art and oftentimes leave you baffled. He also has a propensity for fisheye lenses, which make a cool interactive tool and even show up in the navigation of this homepage. Santiago recently joined RedDrummer and I’m curious what he’ll create there”.


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