Visualisation techniques have become one of the most powerful means of communicating a story - particularly in a data-rich world driven by social media. But while visualisation tools have become more widely available, the skills to create truly engaging visuals around powerful stories are not.

There is a strong practical element to the day, with opportunities to try out what you have learnt and receive immediate feedback.

This one-day intensive course will cover:
  • Why and when to use visualisation and infographics
  • Visualisation objectives: stickiness, distribution, clarity, distinctiveness, branding
  • Other forms of communication
  • What works and what doesn't - and why?
  • Best practice in visualisation
  • Colours and focus
  • Using visualisation to find a story
  • Editorial angles - going beyond charts
  • Visualisation tools and tech - making it look professional
  • Taking it further: customisation and visualisation languages
You will learn:
  • How to pick the right chart for your story – against a deadline
  • Mapping tricks and techniques: using Fusion Tables and other tools to map Olympic torchbearers
  • How to pick the right data to visualise
  • Visualisation tips for free chart tools
  • About avoiding common visualisation mistakes
  • How to create an infographic with Tableau and Illustrator
  • About making data interactive

This course takes place in an IT suite.

About Paul Bradshaw

Paul Bradshaw divides his time between being a visiting professor at City University, London, course leader for the MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University, and a freelance trainer, speaker and writer. His background is in magazine editing and editorial website management and he has contributed to several books about the internet and journalism.

In 2009 Paul founded Help Me Investigate – a platform for crowdsourcing investigative journalism. The site was shortlisted for Multimedia Publisher of the Year in the 2010 NUJ Regional Media Awards, and won Best Investigation at the Talk About Local awards 2010.

About Caroline Beavon

Caroline is a journalist with 12 years of experience, both in online and broadcast: now specialising in data journalism and visualisations.

She is an MA graduate in Online Journalism, focusing on entertainments and pop culture data. She was recently shortlisted in an Information is Beautiful Challenge.

Since completing her MA she have been freelancing as a data journalist and visualiser, creating infographics for publishers, local government bodies, statistics websites Oh My Gov and Microsoft.

She also helps teach data journalism, online journalism and social media at Birmingham City University.


"Paul Bradshaw is easily one of the best trainers I've had since I started my career in journalism. He demonstrated an expert knowledge of the subject during a two-day training course in data journalism which he tailored on the fly to deliver a rounded understanding based on my existing knowledge. He focused as much on process as specific technique which has delivered immediate benefits to me in my current role," David Elks

"An excellent overview of powerful tools to generate meaning full data and geo visualizations." Jacques Brousse, ARCA Agency