I’ve been a math geek since I learned what a number was. My parents claim the first book I could read was One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. (Of course I would pick a book with counting in the title.) When my dad took me to my grandparents’ farm as a kid, he would take long sheets of butcher paper and write a bunch of numbers in a column; I would spend hours gleefully multiplying them. Today I spend hours a day gleefully analyzing data in my healthcare consulting day job.
When I was in school, I was terrified of public speaking. Even raising my hand in class to speak aloud got my heart rate skyrocketing. So, for my mandatory (dreaded) class presentations, I would spend hours on my slides and handouts. I figured, even if I wasn’t confident in communicating orally, at least I could communicate visually.
But once I started seeing the audience connect with my visuals, and realizing I could communicate numbers in a compelling way, it boosted my confidence as a presenter. Ten years ago, I would never have guessed that I would have “keynote speaker” and “panel presenter” on my resume – but now I even like it and actively seek it out!
I love doing justice to hard-earned data. Quantitative information is notoriously hard to communicate. That’s why data visualization and storytelling are such a fun challenge.
I’m excited to join the amazing people who have blazed the trails of the online data community. All you writers and bloggers and tweeters and redditors, you inspired me to get in the game. I’m thrilled that you’ll have me, and I hope I offer a unique voice in this already thriving community.
By the way, who am I? Oh, hi there! I’m Dana. I’m a proud graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Big Red!), and I’ve also got an MPH from Yale University (no mascot in the world beats Handsome Dan). My career in health data has taken me from New York to Chicago and, now, to beautiful Los Angeles. Check out my LinkedIn or Twitter for more.