About CDVG Communications & Collaboration

I have created a CDVG LinkedIn group, this blog, gmail and a Twitter account in addition to our Meetup site. If you are only interested in attending our meetups then you don’t have to do anything but continue to follow CDVG in Meetup. If you want to communicate outside of meetings then read on.

  • Meetup will continue to be used to manage the group administration (registration of members, meeting announcements, RSVPs, etc). Meetup is limited, however, in its ability to share and discuss content from around the web.
  • The CDVG LinkedIn Group is one forum for members to share and post on data visualization. Many people are already actively engaged in LinkedIn. If you take the time to post something that is of interest to our group then it may also be of interest to potential employers. It’s easy to post it to our LinkedIn Group and others like Visual AnalyticsData Visualization, or Tableau Software Fans & Friends.
  • This blog is a second forum for members to share and post on data visualization. The advantages of a blog is that you don’t have to be a member of a social network to access it. Also, its an excellent platform for sharing content easily–especially media. Lastly, the blog will be used to host things like our list of recommended tools, books, websites, etc. I also want to create a directory of Chicago area companies involved in data visualization.
  • The @Chicagodatavis Twitter account will be used as another mechanism to communicate important information about the group (upcoming meetings, interesting posts, etc). I will continue to tweet my own data visualization perspective at @_JoshDoyle. If you are doing the same then I suggest you include hashtag #dataviz and tweet to @Chicagodatavis.
  • The gmail account, chicagodataviz@gmail.com, can be used to email me and future group leaders about the CDVG.

I created these additional mechanisms to help build our community. They enable us to share outside of the regular meetings and extend the reach of our group to engage others that aren’t on Meetup. I hope to run in to many of you in these forums. I’ll monitor all of these and make sure particularly important content is shared on all of them. As our community grows these communication mechanisms will evolve according to their effectiveness.

About CDVG Meetings

The CDVG will meet as frequently as we have good topics with available presenters. I anticipate that to be every 4-8 weeks. Occassionally, we’ll just get together for socializing. The meeting venues will also depend on availablity but I am targeting relevant technology and design locations around the city.

I am also considering having a series of breakfast or lunch meetings for data visualization topics that may be of interest to a smaller group of our members. This may be especially appropriate for learning and practicing some tools. Plus, I want to include members that may have difficulty attending evening meetings. Another possibility is to have some of these smaller meetings online in a Google+ Hangout. Let me know if you are interested in these alternative meetings.

Send an email to chicagodataviz@gmail.com if you are interested in hosting, sponsoring, or presenting at a meeting.

The CDVG Learns, Creates, Shares, & Promotes Data Visualization

The Chicago Data Visualization Group focuses on learning, creating, sharing, & promoting data visualization in Chicago.  Read more about what the group is planning and executing here.

CDVG members learn the technologies used in the creation of data visualizations

A popular data visualization website, datavisualization.ch, publishes A Carefully Selected List of Recommended Tools they use regularly. Visualisingdata.com, also maintains an extensive inventory of resources. Please take a moment to look at these websites and familiarize yourself with what is there. Hopefully, you will see something you want to learn about in one of our meetups. Even better, maybe you will see something you know and can teach the rest of us. Also, please share if there is something that you want to learn or teach that is not on these sites. Learning in the CDVG also focuses on the process of creating data visualizations. Examples of topics include the sourcing and wrangling of data, the difficulties of color, and choosing the best way to represent data.

CDVG members create data visualizations

These may be visualizations for our jobs, for fun, or for one of the many contests run by visualizing.org, visual.ly, or Tableau.

CDVG members share data visualizations

Our members can show their work and receive kudos, a critique and/or get assistance. Members also share the best, and worst, of data visualizations and related topics seen on the web. If you are new to data visualization then check out the FlowingData website where Nathan Yau maintains a list of blogs worth following.

CDVG members promote data visualization in Chicago

  • Creating and executing a data visualization contest, open to anyone but with data relevant to Chicago. The city has embraced open government and promotes the use of the city’s data. They publish new data sets frequently so there should be plenty of content for a compelling data visualization challenge.
  • Reaching out to Chicago’s schools and offer to discuss data visualization with students and relate data visualization to existing curriculums in math and science. Effective data visualizations can help students understand concepts quicker and more thoroughly. Also, the explosion of data is increasing the occurence of visual communication of information. The ability to view visualizations critically will also be a fundamental life skill.
  • Bringing the leading data visualization practitioners and companies to Chicago for a conference or festival. Visweek, organized by IEEE, has been the premier visualization conference since 1999 but has never been held in Chicago. The Eyeo Festival, held annually in Minneapolis, is recent but already highly regarded. Chicago is home to major corporations, universities, and world class cultural institutions. Leadership in design is part of our city’s legacy. Creating or hosting a distinguished visualization conference will contribute to the continuation of this legacy.

If you want to get involved in these activities, or if you have questions, contact the CDVG at chicagodataviz@gmail.com or sign up for our next meeting at meetup.com.