How powerful charts can boost your career

An American accountant managed – as the youngest ever! – to win a crucial election in Los Angeles – thanks to the power of data visualization.

Kenneth Mejia, a 32-year-old accountant of Filipino descent, is very committed to issues of poverty, affordable housing and mobility. In the 2022 elections he ran for “City Controller”, a sort of treasurer, for his hometown of Los Angeles. It’s a department with responsibilities almost as big as those of the city’s mayor and chief justice. For example, the City Controller can commission audits to evaluate the effectiveness of city departments.

Data visualization as election propaganda

Kenneth took a remarkably creative and unusual approach in the run-up to the election: he made imported data about the city instantly accessible and visible. On his campaign website, for example, he created a whole series of interactive maps, reports and searchable databases. He even put up billboards showing with graphs what the anticipated city budget will be used for in 2022-2023.

Kenneth Mejia's billboard in the city of Los Angeles, showing a bar chart with a breakdown of the city budget.

That transparent communication did not miss its mark. Kenneth won, as the youngest city controller ever. This approach shows how powerful data visualization is to unlock information, which may seem difficult and unfathomable to the general public, in a very accessible way. As a result, citizens not only gain insight but also become more engaged in politics. They become better informed and can vote more knowledgeably.

You too can make a difference thanks to powerful data visualization

Whether you have political ambitions, want to present your scientific research comprehensibly or convince your management of your brilliant ideas… Would you also like to learn how to create powerful graphics that can inform, convince and engage your audience? Charts that not only accurately represent the numbers, but also have a clear message and are attractive to look at?

In the book “Powerful Charts” physicist and Baryon founder Koen Van den Eeckhout explains in an accessible and practical way how this can be done. An indispensable guide for anyone who communicates with and about figures.

This brand new book is available now at Owl Press.

Order the book here

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