This is a interview with Andy Kirk from Visualisingdata.com, as part of the Big Data Week Interview series. For many, what is known as “data visualisation” is a relatively new phenomenon. Deriving from a virtuous circle of the familiarity of Excel and the ability to create sophisticated graphics from a mass-market computer, the concept is becoming increasingly engrained into popular culture. Where visualsing data was once the domain of the Open University after midnight on BBC2, it's now prevalent across newspapers (often in double-page spreads) and, of course, in the hyper-realism of television news.
“It's all about Big Data” we promised, and for one week in April, that was certainly the case. From almost any angle of computing – technical, managerial, theoretical, artistic – data has never enjoyed so much attention. With attention comes caution - “How do we manage so much stuff?” - and, thankfully, Big Data Week kept one eye on these pressing, contemporary issues as well as the other firmly focussed on the future.