Need a Tableau dashboard? Here’s the information I need

This post discussed my use of Tableau Software. For more information on Tableau visit the official website I've always used Tableau to quickly get to grips with a new data set and play with different chart types until I come across something effective. I've also created several 'personal' projects using this tool. More recently, I've been talking to several clients about creating Tableau dashboards or interactive infographics for them. These are the questions I ask myself / them at the Read more [...]
My Route – touchtable design

My Route – touchtable design

My Route was a heritage project based in Birmingham. I was commissioned to design a touch table that would show the changing history of the Stratford Road, one of the key routes in the city, from the 1940s to today. You can find out more about the whole project in this short film After several months of research and trialling, I began developing a map that would allow users to see the businesses along the road in 10 years intervals. Using the Kelly's Directories, phone books, Yellow Pages and Read more [...]

If you needed any more proof that I am a data visualisation and productivity nerd …

In order to keep track of the various projects, I use an Excel spreadsheet. This calculates project hours, rates etc. The spreadsheet breaks each day down into 30 minute blocks, into which I paste a coloured block and code - which helps calculate the running totals. As well as being useful - it also generated this bonus visualisation! I started this in Oct 2013 - So now, I present, my work diary from Oct 2013 - Dec 2014.   Read more [...]

Infographics for Housing Associations

It's been all about housing associations recently! I'm currently working on an annual report infographic for Thames Valley Housing (covering their key statistics) but was also recently invited to speak to a network group of National Housing Federation communications professionals in the West Midlands. I delivered a 45 minute talk on infographics including: why infographics the process of developing them some key tools. What I find interesting at these events is hearing about Read more [...]

Appearing soon at …

I've had a flurry of invitations to speak in public recently and, as one of my New Years Resolutions was to say 'yes' more, I've agreed to all of them. Over the next 2 months I'll be appearing at the following events - ticket details below, and if you're already going, do say hi! Read more [...]

UPDATE – courses, quickies and connections

I'm constantly pleased to see the number of organisations thinking about visual communication. Over the last 6 months I've been busy with a series of "Influential Analysis" training courses for Understanding Modern Government, where I have been (hopefully) inspiring people to rethink how they communicate information both internally and externally. Organisations attending the public courses, or booking in-house sessions, include various NHS trusts, Lincolnshire County Council and even Read more [...]

Information Designer for Hire: what to expect

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Whilst organisations may have had experience working with graphics or branding designers in the past, the process to develop an infographic is very different. Ask any graphics designer who's been asked to convert a 20 page report into an image, and chances are they'll tell you that designing an infographic requires a whole new set of skills. I think of myself as a designer-meets-journalist-meets-number Read more [...]

Infographics? Infovisuals? Stop and think

Visual communication is nothing new. Man has been daubing on walls and scratching into rock for centuries. Whether it's “5 Ways to Catch and Skin a Deer” or “The River Styx: Everything You Need to Know”, visual representations of information have been the simplest way to pass information from one person to another. Nowadays, the data explosion has meant there is not only more information to be conveyed, but an increased demand for access and understanding. We want price checks, reviews Read more [...]

PROJECT: Sampad Annual Report

You can see more of my infographic and data visualization work here   A few months ago I was invited to create an infographic for the charity, Sampad. The challenge was this: to show some of the key statistics from their year of activity, in a small area on a single or series of small infographics. (They were keen to reduce their annual report in both page-size and page-numbers, but didn't want to reduce the amount of information on display). The statistics included the number Read more [...]
Is Rock Dead?

Is Rock Dead?

Final Project for MA Online Journalism, Birmingham City University, 2010 Interactive data project investigating the music album charts from 1970-2010 The brief to discover if rock music really is on the decline using Official Charts Company Data Tools used included: Adobe Flash, Adobe Illustrator, Tableau Desktop Sources, bibliography and references Read more [...]

10 Ways to Use Infographics: part 2

Please note: not all images are mine  - please click image for source You can see more of my infographic and data visualization work here     In 10 WAYS TO USE INFOGRAPHICS: PART 1, I talked about using infographics for linkbait, journalism, article illustrations, annual reports and postcards/posters. This time I'll be looking at video inserts, explanation, audience analysis, adverts and presentations Video - bring the numbers to life It was inevitable that the next stage Read more [...]

Olympics Torchbearers – working on a collaborative data project

I was recently asked by Paul Bradshaw (online journalist and founder of Help me Investigate) to create an infographic as part of his investigations into the Olympic Torchbearers - and more specifically, who got the places? The investigation has not appeared both on The Guardian DataBlog (read it here) and Help Me Investigate Olympics And - if you're feeling in a generous mood, the whole investigation has been turned into an ebook, with a donation option - raising money for Brittle Bone Society.   Read more [...]

10 ways to use infographics: part 1

Part 2 here Please note: not all images are mine  - please click image for source Infographics are hot property right now. Many companies use them and image sharing sites like Pinterest and Flickr are full of them. Here are 10 ways you could bring your information to life in an interesting and accessible way. 1. "Linkbait" - sell your services This is THE most popular use of infographics. Most of the ones you see online fall into this category. They tend to be long thin images, stuffed Read more [...]

Communicate – latest issue out now

I am delighted to say that the latest issue of Communicate Magazine is out, featuring a handful of my latest infographics. As their in-house Visualization Specialist, I create graphics from various research data for their monthly issues. For this issue, the focus was the attitudes of the PR industry and the media to digital trends, including use of email and social media. I created more images than the ones used in the article - the rest are going to be used in another publication, a Read more [...]
Open Data Strategy Release Schedule Dashboard

Open Data Strategy Release Schedule Dashboard

Interactive dashboard created for the Mercia Open Data group, using the June 2012 version of this document. Open Data Strategy Release Schedule. This dashboard requires updating, but is an illustration of how a dashboard can make a spreadsheet like this accessible. Click on dashboard below to access external link on Tableau Public Read more [...]

The Spread of Tech [animated]

Key: RED: fixed broadband internet BLUE: mobile phone subscriptions YELLOW: internet users GREEN - telephone lines (all per 100 population) STORY OF A VIZ: Altered last minute to the deadline for the Guardian / Google Competition This gave me 2 hours do something with a range of data available, to address the issue of the worldwide recession and how national behaviour protected against this, or aided recovery. THE DATA Due to the limited time made quick decision to use a Read more [...]
Current Projects – mystery clients, Olympics, forums and rockin’ maps!

Current Projects – mystery clients, Olympics, forums and rockin’ maps!

After a relatively quiet period, recently I've had a flurry of work  and opportunities - and some very interesting ones at that. Excuse the lack of client names, but many of these are active projects. If you are interested in hiring me - you can find me on Twitter (@carolinebeavon) or email carolinebeavon at gmail.com Thanks PROJECTS Infographic > Local Authority Olympics I was recently asked to create an infographic of information about the Olympic Torch relay, for a local authority. This Read more [...]
Data journalism: more than numbers and charts

Data journalism: more than numbers and charts

    I have been a Visiting Tutor at Birmingham City University on and off for more than a year, but today I experienced that mythical "sense of satisfaction" that teachers talk about. I held a short data visualization workshop for some 2nd year Online Journalism students today  - who were incredibly hungry for the information. For the past few weeks they had been gathering spreadsheets and reports and were now desperate for interesting ways to show this. Some were also concerned Read more [...]
The Age You’re Most Likely to Win a Brit Award

The Age You’re Most Likely to Win a Brit Award

Checking the latest data from the Brit Awards (courtesy of the Guardian Data Blog) is seems 24 is the age a musician is most likely to win a Brit Award Since 2005 12 awards have gone to pop stars at this age including Amy Winehouse, Kate Nash and Ellie Goulding. Similarly, Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine and JLS all tapped in at this age when they picked up their awards. Could it be down to our education system, 3 years at uni, where they perhaps form a band, and 3 years focusing Read more [...]
Actors Working in Teams [infographic]

Actors Working in Teams [infographic]

Sometimes I'll start a data project, and duing the process one of several things may happen: I lose interest something more important comes along I realized it's just not "working" The latter happened as I was working on a piece for the latest Information is Beautiful challenge - which involved chomping through a large and very interesting data set regarding Hollywood movies. These challenges encourage you to use a data set provided by the website to create either a visualization, Read more [...]

Who is my data idol?

There must be something in the water .... twice this week I have received emails from online journalism students asking for my thoughts on data journalism - and more specifically, my data idols. The first was an email from Germany - or student Katarina Bons to be precise - asking for information about any studies into data journalism in the UK and who the key players were. During the completion of my final MA Online Journalism project, during a desperate need to relieve tension, I pasted the Read more [...]
Uni applications drop off – but which subject area is hardest hit?

Uni applications drop off – but which subject area is hardest hit?

Thanks to a hike in tuition fees, there has been a drop off in the numbers of people applying to UK universities, compared to the 2011 figures. Usefully, the Guardian has posted the numbers on their Datablog and I'm starting to munch through the data Here's the first set of findings - by subject area grouped into discipline, thanks to Wikipedia's List of Academic Disciplines Read more [...]
MP’s subsidized dining rooms [visualization]

MP’s subsidized dining rooms [visualization]

So MP's are expected to pay the equivalent of "high street pub" prices when buying food in the subsidized restaurant in House of Commons are they? (Telegraph) Let's see if that's the case. Taking 5 dishes mentioned in the article above - I compared them to an equivalent TYPE of dish at Wetherspoons, Walkabout and All Bar One. (click for larger image) Sources: http://www.jdwetherspoon.co.uk/ http://www.allbarone.co.uk/ http://www.walkabout.eu.com/ And special thanks to @keridavies Read more [...]
5 ways to gather data

5 ways to gather data

 Caroline Beavon is a freelance information and infographics designer - get in touch for more details Everyone is talking about data journalism nowadays: creating maps, visualizations and infographics. However, before you can do any of that you need some DATA Here is how I sourced the data for my Datamud project, a look at the statistics behind the big UK music music festivals.

Quick Links:

1. SEARCH Official Site The last thing you want to do is call up a press officer asking for Read more [...]

Another flash project …

Another flash project …

As I gather my portfolio together for my MA Online Journalism Multimedia module, I discovered my first ever Flash project. Sad story, a British student missing in America, where he was studying. I decided to take the facts of the story and turn it into a roll-over breakdown. It's basic, but it works. It still needs an embedded link (to the Facebook group) and some embedded video, but it works as a basic test of the theory. [kml_flashembed publishmethod="static" fversion="8.0.0" movie="http://carolinebeavon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/jonny-dorey.swf" Read more [...]
Looks like I’m not into metal any more Toto

Looks like I’m not into metal any more Toto

Data can be an interesting and eye opening thing. I decided to cut and paste some sections of my ITunes library into Google Docs and create a data set from Artist Track, Genre and Plays. sort tracks by PLAY COUNT remove TIME, BITRATE, DATE ADDED and TRACK NO columns scroll down to the bottom of the tracks with "2" plays select every song with 2+ plays CTRL+C open a blank spreadsheet (I use Google Docs) and CTRL-V into the top left corner of the page the Itunes data appear in the Read more [...]