About

primary-schwabish-headshotIn graduate school, I wasn’t taught how to code or how to be a good writer, how to present my research, or how to make better graphs. School was for learning the theory and the literature, but it wasn’t about communicating that work to, well, anyone other than other researchers. My goal at PolicyViz is to help you do a better job communicating your research, analysis, and ideas.

My name is Jonathan Schwabish. I’m an economist by training, but over the last 5 years, I’ve worked hard to communicate my research in better ways and to help others do the same. Here on my site I share blog posts and tutorials, the popular PolicyViz Podcast, and my collaboration site HelpMeViz.Through each of these, I am interested in helping others do a better job communicating their data. I also offer teaching, speaking, and consulting services to reach beyond what I can offer on my website.

jonI am currently a Senior Fellow in The Urban Institute’s Income and Benefits Policy Center. I am also a member of the Institute’s Communication team where I specialize in data visualization and presentation design. Prior to my time at Urban, I spent the previous 9 years at the Congressional Budget Office conducting research in such areas as earnings and income inequality, immigration, disability insurance, retirement security, data measurement, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and other aspects of public policy.

I have created a number of policy-relevant data visualization products; written widely on data visualization and presentation techniques; and offer public workshops on those areas. I’m generally known for calling for clarity and accessibility in research and have written on various aspects of how to best visualize data including technical aspects of creation, design best practices, and how to communicate social science research in more accessible ways. I was named a “visualization thought leader” by AllAnalytics in 2013. My book, Better Presentations: A Guide for Scholars, Researchers, and Wonks is designed to help presenters of scholarly or data-intensive content develop clear, sophisticated, and visually captivating presentations.

In addition to my efforts to improve how researchers communicate their findings to a wider audience, I continue to pursue my existing research portfolio. Ongoing and future work includes investigation of child nutrition programs; long-term earnings patterns among SNAP recipients; the relationship between state-level SNAP policies and individual participation decisions; coincident retirement-disability Social Security benefit claiming behavior; and patterns in earnings inequality and volatility within and across groups of workers.

I earned a M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from Syracuse University and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

I’m eager to help you do a better job processing, analyzing, sharing, and presenting your data and your research. I currently offer on-site training workshops in data visualization, Excel, Tableau, R, and presentation skills. Please also follow me on Twitter @jschwabish or contact me.

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PolicyViz is a registered LLC in the State of Virginia

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