What is a Senior Data Visualization Engineer?


Elijah Meeks, one of the foremost data viz experts in the business, recently responded at length to a question tweeted at him: "Can you explain to me what a Senior Data Visualization Engineer exactly does?"

Elijah has written about the role before and has gotten push back—people essentially saying "you’re just a UI developer you can’t really expect me to believe you spend 100% of your time making pie charts". This post is his response to that perception.

I'm interested in the specific topic discussed here, but also in the more general trend: roles on the modern data team are still in the process of being figured out. It used to be that everyone was an analyst or a DBA or a statistician. Now we have data engineers, data scientists, data analysts, and visualization engineers. These are not trivial rebrandings of the old titles: they actually are different jobs.

It seems obvious to me that if your organization requires advanced data visualizations that hiring specialists in this area is a must. We've recently been thinking about hiring someone like this for the Fishtown team as we're getting more requests for this type of work.


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