We plan to put five questions to each of the WXG (www.wxg.co.uk) conference’s speakers to give you a look into their talks, histories and what inspires them to do what they do. Introducing the twelfth speaker, Miriam Quick. Why did you agree to speak at WXG?
Because it seems like a great conference. I'm looking forward to hearing the other speakers!
What do you think delegates will get out of your talk?
I would hope they'd come away with a better understanding of how to go about creating an information graphic, some insight into the decision-making process involved, and a sense of how much work it takes to end up with something that is both beautiful and really informative.
How did you get into infographics and data visualisation?
I got interested in analysing data and in data visualisation when I was writing my PhD (in music, no less). I was involved in a strand of musicology that looks at data from recordings – for example on tempo, timing, and tuning – using tools like Sonic Visualiser.
After my PhD I met David McCandless of Information is Beautiful and started working as a researcher for him, which was kind of like being thrown down a wormhole of data. I learned a lot about presenting information visually and also a lot of facts, such as - that the average woman in Niger has more than seven children, or that going on a roller coaster can make asthma symptoms less noticeable.
None of these facts ever come up in pub quizzes, sadly.
Who is your inspiration in the industry?
People like Moritz Stefaner, Accurat, the New York Times Graphics team. I love working with IiB Studio – they produce top quality information graphics. I'm also inspired by the possibilities of data art, especially using 3D printing to create real-life objects based on datasets.
What advice would you give to someone new to the industry?
Learn statistics. Keep sight of the story. Never forget that what you're doing is basically communication.
If you want to find out more or reserve tickets to the WXG event visit: http://wxg.co.uk/