Do you like to dig up unique datasets and present them with engaging graphics?

A graphic showing data visualization examples

If the above graphic looks appealing to you, might want to pursue a career as a data visualization specialist!

How Do Data Visualization Specialists Contribute?

Data visualization specialists translate complex statistics and data so that subject matter experts and business users can better understand them.

They help companies make data-informed decisions by presenting data in innovative ways.

Analyzing Toy Story GIF by Giflytics. Data, Data Everywhere

What Does A Typical Day At Work Look Like?

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Abstract data visualizations involve producing graphical representations of data to present to clients and colleagues.

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Data mapping  is done at companies that use lots of data across different systems and locations.

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Data storytelling is the process of turning data into personalized stories that help customers understand products.


Educational Requirements

You typically need a degree in a subject that develops your analytical skills, such as Maths, Statistics, and Computer Science, although a few data analyst apprenticeships are also available.

Typical employers of data visualization specialists:

  • Banks

  • Specialist software development companies

  • Consulting firms

  • Telecommunications companies

  • Public sector organizations

  • Social media specialists

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Does It Pay The Bills?

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Average yearly salary for a data visualization specialist in Canada is $68,746

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Average yearly salary for a data visualization specialist in the USA is $89,610

Should I Choose This Career?

a number of colored bars travelling over a blue background

You'll love the job if you...

  • Enjoy solving puzzles and playing with data

  • Have the patience to figure out ways to display data

  • Have an interest in and appreciation for art and good visual design

  • Have a degree in math, engineering, statistics, business, or finance

Look for another career if you...

  • Don't like sitting at a desk all day

  • Don't like numbers, large databases, and analytics

  • Don't want to spend a lot of time researching various ways to visualize data

  • Have difficulty translating data in to compelling stories


Loren is great at analyzing graphs and charts, but doesn't like to create them. Would Loren make a good data visualization specialist?

Role Models Of The Field

Alberto Cairo

  • The Knight Chair in Visual Journalism at the University of Miami's School of Communication

  • Has written two books on data visualization: The Functional Art and The Truthful Art

Mona Chalabi 

  • The Data Editor at The Guardian U.S. and host of Viceland's The Business of Life

  • Covered topics such as gun control, sex, and gender politics

  • Has data visualization sketches on her social media to make data more accessible

Mona Chalabi hosting a TV show about the business of health

An infographic produced by Mona Chalabi showing that 25 US states have never elected a female governor

Take Action

Do you have some of the skills already mentioned here?

  • Mapping data

  • Telling stories through numbers

  • Visualizing data into pictures

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Are you interested in the profession?


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