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Gifts for the Data Visualizer in Your Life

Updated: May 15

Cognitive Surplus’ useful data candle
Cognitive Surplus’ useful data candle

As the holidays approach, well-meaning gift-giving lists descend upon us. But what you do buy for the data visualizer in your life? I have compiled a handy list of gift ideas for your bestie data-design-whiz or infographic-maniac significant other.

1. Cognitive Surplus “Useful Data” candle

If there was ever a prayer candle for a data storyteller, this is it. We are always searching for useful data and sometimes we need a little help from the data gods above. Perhaps lighting this candle will get their attention?

2. Subscription to Tableau

Tableau is one of the program tools for datavizzers. And luckily with Tableau Public, we can use it for free. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a subscription and the ability to unlock even more of its features? OK, I can shell out $75/month for the creator license sub, but it would be even nicer if I got it as a gift! Pretty please!

3. Posters and art by Nicholas Rougeux

The art and design of Nicholas Rougeux lies at the intersection of data, history, math and beauty. I have three framed posters of his geometric primes in my living room. I guarantee there is something for anyone’s taste in his Zazzle store. Nicholas’s designs are the perfect merging of science, data and art, creating inspiration for any data designer’s home or office.

4. A subscription to Visual Capitalist Plus

For impeccably-designed and insightful infographics on finance, markets, current events and many other topics, there is really no other game in town than Visual Capitalist. OK, I’m biased because I am a contributor/creator. For as low as $6.68/month, your gift will enable a wealth of insights, forecasts and inspiration for the data-hungry person on your list.

5. A pro subscription to

This color choosing website is helpful when your datavizzer is stumped on a color scheme for their viz. A pro membership gets them an ad-free experience in generating and saving palettes. With access to 10 million color schemes, this site can rescue your infographic designer from a color block panic.

6. Histomap poster from Etsy

The gorgeous colored streaks in this very tall poster are not the random brushstrokes of an Etsy artist. They are data charting the 4,000 years of world history in this accurately titled histomap. From a distance, it’s art. Get close (you may need a magnifying glass depending on which size you order) and study the fine print chronicling the exquisitely detailed history of our fine planet.

7. A subscription to Nightingale Magazine

This is the print magazine for the Data Visualization Society. Loaded with beautiful and inspiring graphics, it would grace the shelves of any data designer. The first two issues are sold out which tells you how coveted these beautifully printed magazines are, a lasting physical archive of work that often gets lost in the digital realm.

8. Coffee flavors color wheel canvas from Etsy

Who knew coffee could be so colorful? I love this mouth-watering color wheel charting the spectrum of coffee flavors and aromas with the data source listed as “World Coffee Research”. If your datavizzer drinks coffee (most likely, to stay alert through all that research, design and data crunching), how could he or she not love this?

9. Visionary Press series of books

You may have heard of Florence Nightingale, but do you know the names Emma Willard and Étienne-Jules Marey? Your datavizzer probably does. These data graphics visionaries are showcased in a set of three nicely printed hard-cover volumes featuring fold-out maps, illustrations, and charts. Your person will love the informative and inspiring look into three people who shaped the history of information graphics.

10. A course from Udemy

As every data visualizer knows, there are many skills that go into making an engaging viz and we are all on the hunt to bulk up our skill set whether it’s design, coding, interactive, 3D, AI, or brushing up on the basics. Udemy has a course on pretty much anything a datavizzer might want to learn. Spending a gift certificate on something that makes us smarter is a smart move.

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