Cole Nussbaumer

Manager on the People Analytics team at Google, author of Storytelling with Data, and data visualization expert.

Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic tells stories with data. She is the author of storytelling with data: a data visualization guide for business professionals (Wiley, October 2015) and writes the popular blog Her well-regarded workshops and presentations are highly sought after by data-minded individuals, companies, and philanthropic organizations all over the world.

Her unique talent was honed over the past decade through analytical roles in banking, private equity, and most recently as a manager on the Google People Analytics team. At Google, she used a data-driven approach to inform innovative people programs and management practices, ensuring that Google attracted, developed, and retained great talent and that the organization was best aligned to meet business needs. Cole traveled to Google offices throughout the US and Europe to teach the course she developed on data visualization. She has also acted as an adjunct faculty member at MICA, where she taught Introduction to Information Visualization.

Cole has a BS in Applied Math and an MBA, both from the University of Washington. When she isn’t ridding the world of ineffective graphs one pie at a time, she is baking them, traveling, and embarking on adventures with her husband and two young sons in San Francisco.

Keynote Sessions
Organizations now more than ever use and rely on data to drive decision making, rendering critical the ability to craft an effective story with data. Key to success is learning to present data visually in a way that ensures the message is understood by the audience. That is the focus of this session, which combines theory with practical application of data visualization best practices with a focus on telling a compelling story with data.

At the end of this interactive session, participants should be able to:

  • Comprehend difference between poor and effective visuals and identify examples of each
  • Know what type of visual to use given the information that is to be displayed
  • Recognize clutter that doesn’t add informative value and be comfortable cutting it from visuals
  • Employ preattentive attributes to direct attention and provide a visual hierarchy of information
  • Know the right questions to ask to ensure the visual meets the audience’s needs
  • Synthesize lessons learned to transform a poor visual into an effective visual story

Breakout Sessions
Concepts from the storytelling with data keynote session will be made concrete in this follow-up workshop. Participants were asked to submit visuals they would like feedback on prior to the session; a subset will be chosen to focus on in the workshop session in small groups, giving participants an opportunity to apply the concepts covered in the general session. Cole will also provide and discuss visual makeovers of the selected visuals. Time will also be reserved for Q&A.
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