Why you will hear more from all of us (not just Lisa) in future Weekly Charts

This is the 85th Weekly Chart we’re publishing on this blog. We started this format when I joined Datawrapper 1.5 years ago, in November 2017. Back then, we were only five people. But we’ve grown quite a bit: Now we are eight more, with a fourteenth person to join the team soon.

Hover over the dots to see what all these people are doing in our team!

The bigger a team, the more specialized it becomes. If there’s just one person in the company, they do everything that comes up. Two people can split the work. At our size, we start becoming “niche experts”: Some of our developers are just responsible for one feature (like locator maps). Which means that these features turn out great. But which also means that most of our team members don’t touch the rest of the Datawrapper features anymore.

We believe that our charting tool becomes better when everyone at the company knows how it feels to use it. So we decided to bring all of us in the position of users once in a while.[1] Starting next week, everyone at the company – from our co-CEO David and our office manager Daniela to our backend developer Hendrik – will create Weekly Charts. We’ll rotate: We’re 13 people, so every one of us will create a Weekly Chart approximately once every three months. My job will be to help in the process, brainstorming & editing.

Nothing will change for you: You’ll still get the same newsletter that you can sign up for at the end of this article. And we’ll still publish Weekly Charts each Thursday on our blog. But you’ll hear not just my voice anymore, but different ones – with different styles, different interests, and different views on charts.

It’s not a totally new thing. Some of my coworkers wrote Weekly Charts every time I was on vacations or busy otherwise, and they belong to some of the best Weekly Charts to date:

  • Our CTO Gregor packed six decades of monthly Carbon Dioxide Concentration into a simple (and terrifying) chart
  • Elana, responsible for customer success, used our API to create an epic “scatterplot with a pearl earring” and let us explore a country within a country within a country
  • Ivan, developer, delved into gender representation in movies and made our Github commits over the year visible
  • Fabian, also developer, taught us about the Marvel universe with a locator map
  • Our map expert Anna gave an overview of results from the last EU election
  • Simon, developer, then explained where the turnout for the EU election 2019 was especially high, and why
  • And our spring intern Defne (we miss you!) had a close look at AirBnB data and rebuilt John Snow’s famous Cholera map

So I hope you’re as excited about me about this experiment. We’ll see you next week!

Yes, the chart up there is a Datawrapper chart – a scatterplot, in fact. I made heavy use of the “experimental line & areas” feature in the “Annotate” step to create the background and the bars. Hover over the chart and click on “Edit this chart” to try it out!

  1. There will be more benefits for our team, we hope: All of us learn how to write, not just Lisa – and writing is a useful skill for all jobs. All of us will learn more about chart design. While seeking help in editing, grammar-checking and chart design, all of us will work with people they normally don’t work with (like Lisa, Gregor, and Ivan). And it could be a welcomed change from our regular tasks, especially if we’ve worked on them for a long time.↩︎