Exciting Changes to #ProjectHealthViz in 2021!

The History

As we turn the page on 2020 and look towards 2021, many of us are reflecting on what we want to do differently this year and what goals we may have to be successful. As 2021 starts, I have reflected on the past two years of running a community data visualization project – one that I started way back in May of 2018, almost two years ago.

I started #ProjectHealthViz pretty early on in my Tableau Public days when I saw a gap in the data viz community. That gap was health and healthcare data sets, and health is something we all can relate to. Perhaps even more so this past year as we dealt with a global pandemic and each watched the data as it related to our daily lives. But even before the pandemic, we each are affected and impacted by health. As living beings in this world, we experience birth and death; we get sick and do activities to stay healthy; we utilize the healthcare system and visit our doctor and dentist. I believed it was imperative that I, as a data visualization expert, provide these data sets to the community so that healthcare information is more widely shared and that we, as a community, can reduce certain stigmas around health issues. We can help educate each other about issues and health topics from around the world, which ultimately can bring about meaningful change.

Obviously, another very important goal about this project has always been to help others grow in their data visualization journey. This includes learning best practices, enhancing techniques and tool-based skills, as well as learn the best way to communicate certain types of data. This is where feedback often comes in and typically one or two people provide direct feedback on someone’s visualization, which historically has been exceptionally helpful for people’s growth. For #ProjecthHealthViz, I’ve rarely been able to give direct and comprehensive feedback simply due to time, but I have showcased various vizzes in my blog posts and summarized techniques that were effective in those reviews. But, as with all things in life, there comes a time to improve and change.

The Enhancements

As of 2021, there will be a number of changes to #ProjectHealthViz, while many core foundational elements of the project will remain. The goal is three-fold:

  1. Provide more structure and cadence to the project with clear up-front expectations, data, topics, and challenges, while maintaining the 12-month data structure.
  2. Enhance the method of feedback through both videos and blog posts.
  3. Add to the leadership of the previously solo team!

It’s my pleasure to announce that Sean Miller, fondly known as @HipsterVizNinja on Twitter, will be joining me on the #ProjectHealthViz team! I cannot be more excited for this addition because Sean is a long-time healthcare expert and currently works at Cerner. Let me allow Sean to introduce himself!

Thanks Lindsay! Yes, I am so excited to be joining the ProjectHealthViz team! As Lindsay mentioned, I currently work at Cerner in Kansas City, MOCerner is, arguably, the world’s leading healthcare IT company. At Cerner, I sit on an analytics center of excellence. I split my time between growing and fostering an ever-growing Tableau user base for both internal Cerner associates as well as external Cerner clients. The other part of my time is spent working on developing cutting edge population health analytics in partnership with our clients. To learn more about my role and to see some of the work I do, I encourage you to check out a recent presentation I gave during a recent Tableau Healthcare User Group meetup.

And when I’m not doing that, as Lindsay mentioned, you can find my work in the Tableau community under the alias, @HipsterVizNinja. I’ve been active since 2015 and my involvement has included all the major community initiatives as well as leading the Kansas City Tableau User Group. I am a Tableau social media ambassador with a blog and a growing YouTube channel. I encourage you, if we aren’t already, to connect with me on TwitterLinkedIn, and Tableau Public.

I wanted to join #ProjectHealthViz because as a healthcare data analyst, I want to help bring to light on all the various global and regional healthcare issues (and successes!) facing us; as a Tableau ambassador, I want to help Lindsay continue to grow and foster this incredible community. Lastly, I want to help YOU by providing honest feedback in an effort to grow your skills as a data viz designer.

Lindsay and I have some awesome ideas for the project this year, so come along with us!

Sean Miller

The Project Structure

There will continue to be 12 data sets – one each month. What will be slightly different, is that there are now 6 topic areas and each topic area will be assigned to two months. For 5 of these topic areas, we will provide the data, but for the Quantified Self months, participants will provide their own data. The 6 topic areas are as follows:

  • National Monthly Awareness
  • Healthcare systems
  • Diseases
  • Quantified self
  • Health equity and inequity
  • Public Health

All data can now be found directly on the Health and Healthcare Data Set page, which will have links to the data sets on Data.World. Each month the data will be posted on this blog as well as on Twitter and LinkedIn by both Sean and me.

As mentioned above, feedback is very valuable. However, instead of providing direct feedback on each viz, Sean and I will meet each month to talk about the submitted vizzes through the lens of best practices. We will discuss what works well and why and what could be enhanced and why. Sharing important best practices and summary information about useful techniques will help our chats be focused on how to help everyone improve and add skills to their toolbox. Our goal is to help everyone improve their data visualizations in general and as it relates to specific healthcare related nuances. These videos will be posted to my YouTube page.

There is a submission tracker which participants can submit their viz – feedback can be requested through this form, but participants can participate regardless of if feedback is wanted or not. We still want to record your visualization in the submission tracker viz!

The Dates

We know that structure and consistency help people stay committed to community projects and therefore #ProjectHealthViz is no different.

  • 1st of every month – Data will be shared on data.world and links shared on VizZenData.com as well as tweets to Twitter and posts to LinkedIn
  • 3rd week of the month on Wednesday – Video will be posted on our discussion on the month’s submissions thus far
  • 4th week of the month by the last day of the month – A summary blog post will be shared highlighting a few submissions and recapping our video discussion

Let’s Get Vizzing!

Sean and I are very excited for this journey together this year and cannot wait to expand the #ProjectHealthViz footprint and continue to share the stories of our health with the data viz community.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to either Sean or me if you have questions, have data sets you think would be interesting, or have comments about the project. We are excited for 2021 and the opportunities we hope this provides for many people to learn about health topics, expand skills, and get involved in the community.


Lindsay and Sean

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