About

The Evergreen Data Visualization Academy

At the Evergreen Data Visualization Academy, we pull together the best resources available to help you take your data visualization skills to the next level. We’ve wrapped together the skills we teach in our workshops, the lessons written in my books, and the secret amazing reporting strategies we sell to our clients. And each month we bring you even more.

What our Academy Members are Saying

Being a part of the academy has helped me to expand my data visualization skills and ensure that the data I communicate out is aligned to the purpose of collecting the data and in a clear, usable format for those it is being communicated to. It is also incredibly beneficial to engage in conversations with the other academy members to bounce ideas off of and gain inspiration for new data visualization techniques.

Chris

Check out this 30 minute virtual tour of the Academy to learn about its features and the benefits you gain by joining us. I’ll walk you through how the Academy is run and an Academy member will talk about why he loves it so much.

The Evergreen Data Visualization Academy produces people who know how to communicate with data and make a difference in the world. From How to Use Excel all the way to Interactive Dashboard in R and everything in between, we have the lessons that build your skills so that you are a data ninja rockstar (that’s a real thing).

It takes many hands and big hearts to build the Evergreen Data Visualization Academy. We are big-time data geeks, elbows deep in data and the need to present it clearly, every day. Meet the team.

Stephanie Evergreen, PhD is the founder of Evergreen Data. She has spent the last decade gathering all possible research about data visualization (including her own dissertation) and testing out ideas to see what works with clients around the globe like Mastercard, Verizon, Facebook, and the United Nations. She’s pretty sure she has the best job in the world. She is the face of most of the tutorials and Office Hours. You’ll chat often with Stephanie.

Stephanie likes the idea of rest but can’t sit still for long. She’s published three books on data visualization, many journal articles, and hundreds of blog posts. She launched the Academy to give greater access to high quality data visualization education, particularly to those who can’t make it to her standing-room-only in-person workshops.

Alicia Bembenek, PhD has been creating Tableau tutorials for Evergreen Data since Spring 2018. This role is right in her wheelhouse! Alicia has spent her entire career teaching others and working with data. She was first a psychology professor and researcher, before discovering her passion for the field of data visualization. Alicia is now a consultant and Tableau trainer for a data and analytics services firm. She enjoys learning new Tableau tips and tricks every day and connecting with others in the data viz community.

Dan Kalleward joined the team at Evergreen Data in the Spring of 2015, and he has provided us with a growing repertoire of tutorials over how to utilize R software to create Academy-approved data visualizations. He’s our R code guru. In his day-to-day work, Dan uses these same methods to create reports for his employer’s stakeholders to convey their progress in releasing a major product to the transportation industry. We are absolutely thrilled to see Dan’s ability to apply his data visualization skills from this Academy toward a global leader of industry #humblebrag (and he’s a new dad!)

And…

You! Yes, you and the hundreds of other like-minded data nerds that have enrolled in the Academy are a key part of our team. You ask questions. You give each other support and suggestions and encouragement. You’re critical. In our online forums, you can introduce yourself and say hello.

While most of our work together will happen online, every once in a while you’ll see me or Alicia or Dan out in the real world. This is the coolest experience. Be sure to come collect your high five.

The Graph Guide Program

In the Graph Guide Program, you spend one year with a hands-on coach, learning high-quality data visualization strategies, revamping your projects, and earning certification.

Who Are The Graph Guides?

In our pilot year, we have a team of three main Graph Guides, with an additional bevy of data visualization experts at our fingertips, ready to answer technical questions. You’ll be randomly assigned one of these three totally adorable Graph Guides for the year.

Sheila B. Robinson, Ed.D. is a Senior Design and Training Consultant with Evergreen Data where her favorite graphs are overlapping bars and food-based charts: donuts, waffles, and lollipops. In her free time, she enjoys adjusting gap widths. Sheila loves sans serif fonts but has recently broken up with Gill Sans and Franklin Gothic. Her first love, Avenir, still holds a special place in her heart. Sheila is passionate about the intersections of blues and greens and has a tendency to memorize favorite hex codes.

Sheila also facilitates workshops and consults with clients on program evaluation, survey design, data visualization, and presentation design, and teaches graduate courses on at the University of Rochester. She is the author of Designing Quality Survey Questions (2018, SAGE Publications).

Joseph Travers has worked with data professionally since 1999. Through stints collecting, analyzing, and communicating about both operational and evaluation data, he’s become someone who thinks about the entire data life cycle by default. (This makes him great at parties!)

Joe looks at effective data visualization as Public Relations for Data. Despite the money and resources put into collecting and analyzing data, they are all wasted if the insights from the data aren’t communicated in a way that is engaging.

Joe lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and daughter. He bikes to work whenever he can. Tom Petty is his favorite recording artist, but loves discovering new catchy tunes from all genres. When he’s home sick and just watches movies, his staples are Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, High Fidelity, and the Big Lebowski.

Stephanie Evergreen, PhD is the founder of Evergreen Data. She has spent the last decade gathering all possible research about data visualization (including her own dissertation) and testing out ideas to see what works with clients around the globe like Mastercard, Verizon, Facebook, and the United Nations. She’s pretty sure she has the best job in the world. She is the face of most of the tutorials and Office Hours. You’ll chat often with Stephanie.

Stephanie likes the idea of rest but can’t sit still for long. She’s published three books on data visualization, many journal articles, and hundreds of blog posts. She launched the Academy to give greater access to high quality data visualization education, particularly to those who can’t make it to her standing-room-only in-person workshops.

How Students in The Graph Guide Program Are Assessed

  1. Complete 50 Academy tutorials. You can do this all in one software or through mixing software. You’ll have a set of 13 Core Curriculum tutorials you must take, in the software of your choice. Based on your answers in our pre-assessment, we’ll help you choose your Elective tutorials to reach 50. Of those you choose,
    1. At least one must demonstrate automation of some sort.
      Possible tutorials include: Dynamic Titles, Waffle Charts, Setting Scales, Dashboard Automation, Auto Updating 
    2. At least one must demonstrate interactivity of some sort.
      Possible tutorials include: Interactive Heat Maps, Pull In Pictures, Dashboard with Slicers, Timeline Slicer, Beginner Dashboards, Advanced Dashboards
    3. At least one must demonstrate overall layout of multiple visuals.
      Possible tutorials include: One Page Handouts, Slide Handouts, Pull in Pictures, Dashboard with Slicers, Dashboard Automation, Beginner Dashboards, Advanced Dashboards
    4. Leave a comment in each tutorial with a snapshot of your completed visual to indicate it as complete (except for the automation and interactivity requirements which should be emailed to your Graph Guide). Your Graph Guide will check it for accuracy and reply with any needed corrections or with a hearty congratulations.
    5. Your Graph Guide will tell you when you can click the Complete button on the tutorial. Track completion on your Progress Report. You’ll get a badge for each tutorial you complete. Woo hoo!

      In the last month of your year with the Graph Guide, you’ll finish up your tutorials and:
  2. Provide a written letter of support, reflecting your growth. Can be from a client, a supervisor, or even a grateful colleague. We can help you identify someone, if needed. 
  3. Assess 3 of your recent graphs in the Data Visualization Checklist, scoring at least 90% on each.
  4. Get recommended by your Graph Guide
  5. Celebrate!

How Your Graph Guide Will Assess Your Visuals

In order to mark each tutorial as complete, you’ll upload an image of your finished product to the comment forum at the bottom of the tutorial. Graph Guides will check the visual you upload for the following features:

  1. Chart type matches the tutorial (this one should be easy)
  2. Appears to have been made according to tutorial’s technical steps (OR found shortcuts)
  3. Uses your own data or publicly available data (not the tutorial’s worksheet)
  4. Uses customized colors and fonts (not software defaults)
  5. Is free from unnecessary clutter (tick marks, rules, etc)
  6. Has an insight-driven headline

For tutorials related to layout, these additional checkpoints must be met:

  1. Organized in that the elements within are aligned to one another/a grid
  2. Balanced in that the elements are not crowded
  3. Includes overarching headline and call to action

Your Graph Guide will approve your visual when these checkpoints are met. If needed, your Graph Guide will reply to your post with specific checkpoints that need to be met and will work with you to identify the related tutorials that will help you meet that checkpoint. When your Graph Guide confirms that your visual is final, you’ll mark the tutorial as complete and earn a badge.

Tutorials related to interactivity and automation will be assessed differently. You’ll send your file directly to your Graph Guide, who will assess that:

  1. Content matches the tutorial
  2. Functions as expected
  3. Uses your own data or publicly available data (not the tutorial’s worksheet)
  4. Charts within use customized colors and fonts
  5. Charts within are free from unnecessary clutter
  6. Charts within have an insight-driven headline

If You Don’t Finish The Graph Guides Program In A Year

We expect most folks to finish early. Don’t sign up if your life is way too full for One. More. Thing. If you can make the space to commit to improving your skill set, we are here to help you, to guide you, to keep you on track. We’ll make a plan and keep you accountable until you finish. But life happens. We have built a one-time, one-month pause into the plan. This is your emergency rip cord. Pull it if you have to. We’ll pause your enrollment for one month so you can resume with a full heart and clear mind. We are here for you.