Traditionally, data visualization has been the domain of large newsrooms with large teams of journalists and designers. However, the rise of new technologies and the availability of open-source tools and platforms has made it possible for small and medium newsrooms to create high-quality visualizations with minimal resources and in a timely manner. This democratization of data visualization has enabled smaller newsrooms to compete with larger ones, by allowing them to tell stories that are just as compelling and engaging as those produced by larger organizations.
What I wanted in 2022 was to make data visualization as accessible to a large audience as I can.
2022 was a year of data visualization experiments and innovation, with over 50 infographics and over 5 major data interactive data visualization stories. I was able to try out a lot of new tools and techniques, and it was a great opportunity for me to learn and grow in this field. I used to think that the most important thing in data visualization was making sure the data was represented accurately, but I’ve learned that there’s more to it than just using the right chart types. It’s also important to consider the overall message being conveyed and to be creative about how to effectively communicate it. Sometimes, the story being told through the data might require going beyond traditional methods and finding new ways to present the information. You definitely have to keep in mind what will people feel when seeing your data visualization project. By the end of the year, one of my project was shortisted at the Information is Beautiful Awards and this was a huge step towards achieving my goal in 2022: to play a role in the data visualization democratization in my country and to empower and inspire others to use data visualization to tell their own stories and communicate their own insights.
I believe that by creating effective visualizations, we can contribute to the larger body of knowledge in the field and make it easier for others to understand complex data. This is something I strive to accomplish with every data visualization project I undertake.
Description of portfolio:
My portfolio showcases a variety of data visualization projects, including interactive stories and infographics, that I have created with the goal of pushing the boundaries of what data can communicate. I strive to not only present data in an accurate and accessible way but also to find new and creative ways to tell stories and convey insights.
**Project link 1: The demographic, political and economic power of generations**
A visual representation of the demographic, economic and political power of each generation in Romania, along with the opportunities and challenges they encountered in their lifetimes regarding human rights protection, urbanization, and economic development. This visual story traces back the factors that impacted the country’s demographics and the reason why Generation X currently represents the largest age group in Romania. A large number of generation X representatives were born out of “patriotic duty”. Decree 770 was enacted in 1966 to restrict abortion and contraception and was intended to create a new and large Romanian population. This visual story presents Romania’s present political and business scenes and how younger generations fit in such a context, at what level are they represented in companies, and also national and local political assemblies.
**Project link 2: Mapping down Romania’s healthcare system**
An interactive data visualization piece of 173 maps and 63 charts that present the country’s health infrastructure (hospital, hospital beds, number of doctors) at a microregional level for each of the 41 counties. Also, for each county, there is a visual history of the evolution of the main causes of death in the past 30 years. Ischemic heart disease remains the main cause of death due to the lack of prophylaxis. This project was made in partnership with fellow journalist Claudia Spridon.
**Project link 3: Fear of failure in Romanian entrepreneurship and why women fear it more than men**
In Romania, the fear of failure is a prevalent issue in the entrepreneurship landscape, with many individuals being hesitant to start their own business ventures. Research has shown that this fear is often greater among women than men. The aim of the project was to uncover the underlying reasons and explanations for why women may be more susceptible to this fear and how it affects their participation in the entrepreneurial field. The story breaks down the subject matter, analyzing various factors .
**Project link 4: Mapping exam results to understand the Romanian educational system**
An interactive data story about the Romanian educational system over the past 12 years. This story focuses on the various reforms and changes that have occurred in the education system during this time period, and how they have impacted the performance of students. The innovation in this particular story is the 3 granular maps representing school level exam results in 2 Romanian counties and the capital city.
**Project link 5: Global raw material supply**
A data visualization that presents the global distribution, across continents and countries, of minerals using the periodic table of elements. There is strong competition among producing countries such as China, Russia, and the US when it comes to minerals that enter international trade. This visualization tries to explain in a simple, yet comprehensive way the power struggle for earth elements in 2020, using the data from the British Geological Survey.
**Project link 6: General infographic portfolio**
The last link is a collection of all my data visualization projects made for Panorama.ro, a small Romanian newsroom that focuses on slow and quality journalism. These data visualization projects have changed the way people look at information.