Visualize yourself


Facts about Google astonish me. For instance, one in ten of its searches is on a person. So says Todd Silverstein, CEO of Vizify, a personal data visualization company. Imagine if Googling a person didn't just return a home page or a LinkedIn profile, but a visual, 360-degree view of a person.

It turns out that Vizify does just that.

With a few clicks, Vizify adds data from social media profiles, business cards and resumes so people can easily learn more about you. The service uses APIs to pull data from FourSquare, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks. More are coming. With a few clicks, I created my own visual and customizable profile.

As I research data visualization for my my new book, I'm nothing short of amazed at the number of powerful and user-friendly tools out there - and what they can do. More than ever, I'm convinced that the era of standalone, basic Excel graphs and pie charts should come to an end.

I'm not saying that we should overly complicate displaying basic data. As a general rule, however, we can tell much more compelling stories by sexifying our data. What's more, we can better understand the information in front of us. We can also make better business decisions, something often not easy to accomplish when swamped with data.

Simon Says

As Napoleon Bonaparte reportedly said, "A good sketch is better than a long speech." Truer words have never been spoken. Think about new ways to represent your data. You might be surprised at the effect, and at what you learn.


What say you?


About Author

Phil Simon

Author, Speaker, and Professor

Phil Simon is a keynote speaker and recognized technology expert. He is the award-winning author of eight management books, most recently Analytics: The Agile Way. His ninth will be Slack For Dummies (April, 2020, Wiley) He consults organizations on matters related to strategy, data, analytics, and technology. His contributions have appeared in The Harvard Business Review, CNN, Wired, The New York Times, and many other sites. He teaches information systems and analytics at Arizona State University's W. P. Carey School of Business.


  1. Megan Walters on

    I love the movement, but I worry that it is leaving people behind. My primary concern with data visualization lies in accessibility. How do we ensure that keyboard and screen reader users can access and view those visualizations? Ignoring those users broadens the digital divide and could alienate a growing demographic.

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