Harry Stevens, Visual Journalist at Axios, shares how he tells stories with data visualizations, and his techniques for avoiding the most common mistakes that people make when interpreting data.
Harry Stevens is a Visual Journalist at Axios, a media company that’s taken an innovative approach to user experience. He designs data visualizations that help people understand what’s going on in the world.
I recently met Harry because his team reported on insights generated by Alpha’s platform about the latest Facebook features and news.
Readers were impressed with how Harry presented the findings, and Product Managers often present data to to key stakeholders to get buy-in for critical decisions, so I asked him to come on the show to share his approach.
He shares his best techniques for presenting data in a visual format as a means of communication and influence.
Harry says that visuals are a highly effective means of influence because people have powerful systems for interpreting visual stimuli.
He emphasizes the importance of understanding your audience, asking questions to gain a deeper understanding of what the data means and avoid being misled, and distilling your message into one key takeaway.
Harry also provides several actionable techniques for data analysis and visualization.
Here are the highlights:
- Harry explains why data visualization is such an effect means of communication (6:12)
- The steps Harry takes before designing a visualization (8:17)
- Harry offers advice on presenting data in an accessible manner (9:50)
- Harry describes his approach to analyzing data (14:43)
- Harry shares techniques to avoid being misled by data (18:24)