Data visualisation: A six-week visual storytelling programme

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Over six consecutive weeks, this high-impact and practical workshop will give you the tools to transform datasets into memorable visuals

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Look at the reporting around the coronavirus pandemic, or think about every memorable presentation you have sat through at work. What do they all have in common?

Nothing tells a compelling or crucial story faster than an infographic – and the more striking and concise your visuals, the more memorable your story will be.

Taught by data visualisation experts from The Guardian, Adam Frost and Tobias Sturt, this highly interactive course, taught over six half-day sessions, will give you unprecedented access to a series of workshops and seminars that will show you how to source data to create infographics, how to sharpen your visualisations to make them clear and concise, and how to make your infographics interactive.

You will complete this course with an advanced understanding of the data visualisation process and information design, a better view of good and bad practices in the presentation of complex data, an appreciation of the central tenets of user-centred design and how its principles can be applied to the creation of tables and charts, a suite of high-quality static and interactive assets, and a clear understanding of the tools and software training you will need to take your heightened skills into the next echelon.

Not only that, but you will have the opportunity to complete between-workshop homework, enabling you to skill up further and faster, will receive bespoke feedback from the tutors on your work, and will have access to a private Slack channel to discuss the sessions and homework with your peers.

Whether you use data to develop charts, graphs and presentations for stakeholders, you’re a business manager or decision maker who leverages data to build stories around your product, or you’re simply curious about the undeniable power of a stunning visual, this six-week course will help you to dig deep into your datasets and transform them into impactful, compelling graphics.

Pre-course exercise

Prior to starting this course, you will be prompted to submit a brief outline of your desired outcomes, for discussion in the first workshop.

Week 1: Introduction to the principles of data visualisation

To kick off your six weeks of high-impact learning, you will discover the importance of visual tools and how - and why - they can be used to tell a story. In groups, you will also complete an exercise in visual storytelling, which you will then present back to the rest of the group. Adam and Tobias will provide feedback on your presentations, and then will set an optional homework assignment, to complete in your own time and share with your peers in a dedicated Slack channel.

Week 2: Data exploration and story finding

How do you find, analyse and verify your data? In this session you will discover how to source and unlock trustworthy data – and in the exercise you will put the theories you have learned to the test. You will report your findings back to the rest of the group, explaining which stories you have discovered in your datasets, and Adam and Tobias will feedback, and then set the optional homework task.

Week 3: Static infographics: Designing and wireframing

In this workshop, you will find out how to turn your data stories from the previous week into a wireframe for an infographic. You will also learn about iconography, charting and illustration, and how these apply to infographics – and in the section half of the session you will wireframe your very own infographic. Following this workshop, you will have a follow-up phone call with either Adam or Tobias, to discuss the course content and problem-solve any hurdles you are facing.

Week 4: Making your infographic

What makes a winning infographic and what can you learn from them to amplify your own? With your fellow peers, you will examine recent winners of an infographic prize and ‘judge’ for yourself which ones you think are successful, and why. You will also unlock the importance of impactful copy and how to use it to introduce, contextualise and annotate charts and infographics. You will also be given an optional homework assignment.

Week 5: Interactive infographics: Principles and best practice

In this workshop, you will find out about the principles of wireframing interactive content, as well as interactive charting, interface design and use journeys. In groups you will use a microsite building tool to wireframe an interactive story, which you will then present back to the rest of the cohort. As optional homework, you will complete the rest of your site structure with your peers.

Week 6: Interactive infographics: Software walkthroughs

For the final workshop, Adam and Tobias will take you through the key storytelling and interactive charting tools, which you will then use to build your own interactive chart, to present back to the group, and which Adam and Tobias will feedback on.


You will be given a reading list – to further your learnings beyond the course.

You will be sent a link to the webinar 2hrs before the start time of 2pm (GMT).

Tutor Profiles

Adam Frost was formerly head of data visualisation at the Guardian’s digital agency. He is now content director at Add Two, an agency specialising in data visualisation. His work has appeared on the Guardian, the New Statesman, Buzzfeed and elsewhere. Adam has also produced infographics and interactives for a range of public and private sector clients including the Department for Education, Google and Unilever.

Tobias Sturt was head of creative at the Guardian’s digital agency and is now creative director of Add Two. He has been working in digital storytelling for almost two decades using all kinds of media – from web to TV, games and infographics.

You will be sent a link to the webinar 2hrs before the start time of 2pm (GMT).

Course Details

  • Date: Six consecutive Thursdays, from 4 November until 9 December 2021
  • Time: 2pm – 5pm (GMT)

2pm BST | 3pm CEST | 6am PDT | 9am EDT

This masterclass is available globally. If you are joining us from outside the United Kingdom, please use this time zone converter to check your local live streaming time.

You will be sent a link to the webinar two hrs before the start time. Please email if you have not received the access link within one hour of the scheduled start time.

All Guardian Masterclasses are fully accessible but please contact us at if you have any queries or concerns.

Full course and returns information on the Masterclasses website

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Welcome to Guardian Masterclasses – a unique programme of learning embedded within one of the world's most forward-thinking media organisations.

Masterclasses offer a broad range of short and long courses across a variety of disciplines from creative writing, journalism, photography and design, film and digital media, music and cultural appreciation.

Harnessing the expertise and specialisms within the organisation, our courses are led by first class and award winning guardian professionals whilst also drawing on the skills and expertise of other leading figures at the forefront of the creative and digital industries.

The programme is aimed at anyone interested in personal or professional development whether that be refining your skills, focusing your ambition or simply broadening your mind and gaining inspiration.

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