As the clock ticks closer to the Iron Viz Championship we will be getting to know our top 3 contenders in these "Meet the Iron Viz Finalists" series where you'll get to learn a little more about them and gain a sneak peek into what it took for them to get here. We can’t wait to see what they cook up in the ultimate data competition at Tableau Conference and find out whose visualization will reign supreme. Our three 2022 finalists, CJ Mayes, Kimly Scott, and Will Sutton, out vizzed hundreds of amazing “Visualizing the Arts” Iron Viz qualifier submissions and explored what’s possible on Tableau Public.
Kimly Scott started using Tableau in 2018 when she published her first viz on Tableau Public. Four years later, she is a Tableau Public Ambassador and the first Australian Iron Viz contestant.
So excited to have you join us, Kimly. Can you share more about your Tableau Public journey? How did you first hear about Tableau? When did you first start using Tableau Public, and what made you keep using it?
I first started using Tableau in a previous role, but it was not until my current position that Tableau became a core part of my day-to-day. I first heard about Tableau Public at a Tableau User group. One of the speakers spoke about Viz for Social Good, and I wanted to get involved. So I created a Tableau Public account and published my first viz. From there, I discovered a whole community on Twitter, started participating in #MakeoverMonday, and found the DataFam.
This is your fifth time entering Iron Viz. What have you learned over the years? How many times have you made it into the Iron Viz top 10? Why did you keep entering, and what inspired you to continue?
How embarrassing. Yes, this was my fifth time entering and my first and only top 10. I was almost going to give up!. I never expected to make it to the top 3, but the reason I keep entering is to learn and grow my skills. Each time I participate, I learn something new about Tableau and myself, which inspires me to continue.
Tell us more about your 2022 qualifier entry. Did you know right away what art-related topic you were going to analyze? Did you already have a data set in mind or have to look around? What made you choose this topic?
I did not know my topic right away. After much thought and research, I came across an article about the Archibald Prize. I've always been fascinated by the Archibald Prize and in awe of the artists' talents, so I thought focusing on the Archibald Prize winners would be a great way to showcase Australian art and artists.
However, after collating the data, I noticed the lack of diversity in the winners. I wondered if lack of representation was common in the art world, so I started to look at other ways art might lack diversity and found that lack of diversity was indeed a common problem. I decided to take my audience on the same journey I took while researching for this viz - which is why halfway through the viz, I pivot from looking at the Archibald winners to the general lack of diversity in the arts.
Why do you think data is such a great driver for flagging representation, diversity and inequality issues?
Data is such a great driver for flagging representation, diversities, and inequality issues because you really can't argue with it. We can use data to visualize the gaps in these areas, highlight what needs to be addressed and ultimately share insights.
Comparing your first viz ever to your feeder viz, where would you say you’ve most improved? And how did you get there?
My first ever viz was for Viz for Social Good, and I have definitely improved since then. I’ve improved on my design and storytelling skills by practising by working on community projects, on personal projects, and interacting with the DataFam..
Do you think the Tableau Community has helped you along your Iron Viz journey into becoming a finalist? In what ways has the DataFam supported you?
The Tableau Community has indeed helped my IronViz journey. From participating in community projects such as #MakeoverMonday, #IronQuest, and Viz for Social Good to improving my technical Tableau skills and my design and storytelling skills to receiving advice and feedback on my work. I can't thank the entire community enough for helping me get to the finals.
Tell us more about some parts of the Tableau Community that you love - Moms who viz, being a Tableau Public Ambassador, VOTD, etc.
I love the encouragement and support of the Tableau Community. There is always someone around who is willing to give you feedback, help you out with a question or offer general encouragement. I especially love the Moms Who Viz community, which is a group of mothers in the DataFam who love to viz and connect created by Lindsay Betzendahl off the back of her own experiences. It's so nice to connect with other women who understand the work/personal/children struggles.
You’re also the only female finalist this year.What advice would you give women who are interested in data visualization? What do you think should happen to make the industry more inclusive?
My advice for women interested in data visualization is to connect with other women. It's a great way to share, support, and grow when you connect with others who have the same challenges. To make the industry more inclusive, we need to amplify women's voices in this space (and not just during Women's History Month), address the gender pay gap, offer flexible working arrangements, and offer generous maternity and paternity leave options.
Thanks so much for spending time with us, Kimly, and we can't wait to see you viz it out on stage with CJ and Will. Lastly, before you go, what are you most excited about the Iron Viz championships and Tableau Conference 2022?
I am most excited to meet everyone in person, although quite nervous at the same time.