The Power of Visualization: Best Practices for Effective Visualizations
The Power of Visualization: Best Practices for Effective Visualizations


Data visualization is a powerful tool for manifesting enhanced human performance, and is even more powerful when it makes an impact — on businesses, people’s lives, and the communities we live in. Many visualizations are limited to stationary explanations, but more power can be harnessed if visualizations are ongoing parts of people’s lives.

At Strava – the social fitness network that connects 44M+ global athletes – the power of visualization is harnessed through an ongoing effort to enhance things like individual athletic performance, health, and urban infrastructure, which they pull from their database of trillions of GPS points from user-uploaded activities. From visualizing new cycling and running routes to identifying patterns in urban mobility and infrastructure, Strava users benefit from these visualization tools to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing. In addition, through the power of visualization Strava has been able to identify common themes and patterns of their users’ behavior, such as using the platform to tell stories and celebrate individual activities to discovering new workout routines.

Cathy Tanimura, Sr. Director of Analytics at Strava, will share best practices for creating effective data visualizations that can help improve the health and fitness of individuals, as well as the well-being of communities. Pulling from specific innovations and applications at Strava like relative effort, cumulative stats, Year in Sport, Heatmaps, and Metro, she’ll detail how to choose the right visualization for your data set, the technical components to scaling product visualizations (including which technologies are best for processing and serving high volume and complexity visualizations), and the challenges that arise during the development process.


Cathy Tanimura is Sr. Director of Analytics & Data Science at Strava. She has a passion for leveraging data in multiple ways: to help people make better decisions; to tell stories about companies and industries; and to build great product experiences. She previously led data teams at Okta, Zynga, and

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