Data is transforming many areas of our lives. Industries that have not historically relied on data are now increasingly interested in capitalizing on it. No matter which career or interest path you plan to pursue, data manipulation, analysis, visualization, and communication skills will give you a competitive advantage.
If you’ve ever spent time analyzing financial reports at a corporate meeting, or analyzing reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, you likely enjoy the process more when the data is accompanied by interactive graphics to illuminate key findings. Yet who exactly conceives and creates all of the detailed charts, maps, and info-graphics that appear regularly in newspapers to break down complex topics such as The New York Times report on refugee distribution across Europe? Or websites that provide real-time data about police shootings across the USA such as The Counted, or global warming facts via an animated timeline in the Bloomberg Business report What’s Really Warming the World?
Data Visualization is at the core, and it is a burgeoning field of study at the University of Miami and other top academic research institutions. From devising app-based tools, to organizing vast scientific datum into bite-size morsels, data visualizers often begin their career journey as computer scientists, journalists, academic researchers, coders, or graphic designers. The common thread is that they have all developed a keen interest in recasting complex data in visually appealing ways to broaden the understanding of the world in which we live.
VizUM Annual Symposium
VizUM is a free, annual Data Visualization Symposium held at the University of Miami featuring speakers who are pioneers in the field, whose vision drive products and styles we see around us daily, and who forge new ground in this domain (like Angus Forbes and Dear Data’s Giorgia Lupi, pictured above). Headed by Dr. Alberto Cairo, Professor of Professional Practice, Knight Chair in Visual Journalism, and Visualization Program Director at CCS, Viz UM is held in the evening and is followed by a networking reception.
VizUM Visualization Competition
In 2017, a VizUM Visualization Competition was added to provide an opportunity to our community to participate in the data revolution, though the vehicle of the annual VizUM Symposium. Participants will learn new skills, discover new ways to visually represent their findings to non-scientific audiences, and create beautiful pieces to add to their portfolios by diving deep into open-source data that speaks to their fellow citizens, increases public understanding about relevant issues, and calls them to action by calling their attention to topics that matter. Finalists will display their work at VizUM.
VizUM is sponsored by the Knight Foundation, UM’s Center for Computational Science, UM College of Arts & Sciences; and the UM School of Communication Center for Communication, Culture and Change.