Data Sketches, a fun and creative blog for data visuals


Throughout this course, we have been using data, as well as looking at data visuals. I wanted to see what other ways people can present data, other than what we seen in class. I came across this blog called Data Sketches, by two people named Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu from two different countries where they decided to collaborate with each other for twelve months.

Each month there’s a topic and they must come up with a visual representation by the end of the month. They are free to do whatever they want, if it fits the topic. They also documented the process of each week. Which includes the data research, sketching the visuals, up until the final product.


What I like about their blog is their creativity with their visual data representation. While looking at each topic for that month, my favorite month was September where the topic was about Travel. They both took the topic and made it personal to them. Nadieh’s visual focused on all the vacations that she went on ever since she was younger.

Check here to see Nadieh’s finished data visual. Shirley’s data visual only represented four years of vacations that she went on. Check out Shirley’s finished data visual here.

Story Map about where I traveled in 2017


I was inspired by the blog Data Sketches, from their data visual topic on travel. If they could create visuals of their past travel vacations from years ago, then I could too. I don’t have the skill sets to create such pretty data visuals, so I found a program that I can easily use to represent my travel vacation from 2017. From the same creators of Timeline JS, they made Story Map JS.

Story Map JS helps create stories with videos and images through a map.

The first step that I did was look at all the pictures from my Google Photos, social media, and from my parents and sibling’s social media as well. I organized the pictures to where I traveled in 2017.

Check out my Story Map here.



The mental health system in Michigan and at the University of Michigan – Dearborn

The topic that I chose to write about for my second data story is Michigan’s mental health system, as well as the University of Michigan – Dearborn’s lack of staff at the counseling center.

The first source that I think is needed for my data story was this article on Michigan’s mental health system. The article talks about the lack of resources for undeserved families who have family members facing mental health issues. Because there is a lack of resources, the House C.A.R.E.S Task Force was created to help improve and strengthen the access of care for anyone who is facing mental health challenges.

A second source that I used was the International Association of Counseling Services (IACS) Standards. This PDF lists the standards for what a University should uphold at their counseling center. I used this information to find the staff per student ratio at the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Using the Campus Safety and Security website, I found out that there is a little over 9,000 students enrolled. The minimum staffing ratio is one Full-time Equivalent (FTE) professional staff member for evert 1,000-1,500. Because there are only four licensed counseling staff, there aren’t enough staff per students enrolled.

The final source that I used is the Financial Reports from 2009-2017 for the University of Michigan – Dearborn. The PDF shows the revenue and expenditures from each campus department, as well as the general funds for the MHealthy Wellness Program.

Where you can find me on social media

Looking at the types of social media that I use daily, I basically live online. Some social media that I use is Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

My Twitter lets me know what’s happening at the exact moment based on the people and organizations that I’m following. I usually use it for school or business and I am mostly following news organizations and classmates.

Another professional site that I use is Linkedin. Linkedin helps me connect with others in the same community and network with people.


My Instagram is where I communicate with my friends and family. I post pictures that gives them a glimpse of my life. Instagram is the social media site that I think I use more often than the others.


For my Facebook, I go on there occasionally to see what family from out of state or out of the country are up to.

Please feel free to follow or add me on any of the social media sites I linked!

Using Social Media Wall to aggregate posts

Someone that I am following on twitter and Instagram is Joan Kim. Joan is a beauty/vlog YouTuber that started making videos to document her life, but has become a way to express her creativity with others.

One of the many things I enjoy about YouTube is that anyone can create a video and upload it so that anyone in the world can watch it. Joan not only does videos on fashion and skincare, but also lifestyle. On her second YouTube channel, she vlogs her daily life. Through the lens of the camera, I can see what she’s experiencing. Her informative videos and her daily vlogs are what keeps me wanting to watch more.

I found a tool that aggregates social media post. Social Media Wall helps create a wall full of content, such as hashtags and profiles from various social media sites. If is free to use and there is no limit to how many walls you can create. The only down side is that the content refreshes every 24 hours for free users.

Using Social Media Wall has made it easier for me to see what Joan has posted on Twitter and Instagram.