the story behind humanising data

I always have and always will be a data humaniser

I am someone who loves data, statistics and finding patterns in the world to see how everything is connected. I also love the power of design. Making things aesthetically appealing to get people to take notice, see things in a different way, and inspire people to take action. For me, design thinking is a way of life, but so is organizing information into spreadsheets to make it accessible, insightful and documented for later benefit.

For over 15 years , I've "humanised data" for organizations around the world as the "Voice of the Voice of the Customer", a Marketing, Business, Performance, Operations and Policy Analyst, a Project Manager and a Trade Marketing Executive. During this time, I've come to realize that the more I combine my diverse passions and talents, engage my left and right brain, and focus on communication that speaks to both the head and the heart, the stronger I am at helping these organizations realize their visions.

I believe that:

  • Diversity is a source of POWER
  • Collaboration only makes us STRONGER
  • INCLUSIVENESS is essential because everyone has value to share with the world

When all these pieces exist, MAGIC happens because 1+1>2

aloha, konnichiwa, hola & hello

For as long as I can remember, people have asked me "what are you?" I've always struggled with this question. Were they referring to my race? My religion? My nationality? Why did people want to know? I've heard everything from Oriental,  Southeast Asian, Mediterranean, Central & South American and when I'm tanned and went through my colour contact lens phase back in the eighth grade, I was often called Hawaiian.

From a race and nationality perspective, I'm a Canadian who is half-Japanese with the other half having ancestry that comes from Ireland, Norway and Sweden though they've been in Canada and the USA for a long time. I've also lived in Mexico and believe my love of tacos and Latin music makes me Mexicana, my life and friendships in New Zealand makes me part Kiwi, and my adopted Zimbabwean family, The Chibotas, who call me "Mufaro" makes me part African. After all, aren't we all from Africa?

Is buttercream a legitimate answer?

I remember a time from childhood during Kindergarten when we lived in the nation's capital of Ottawa (a very Caucasian city) where I was asked to fill out a survey and select what I was. My options: White, Black, Red, Yellow, or Other. From that point, I saw myself as an alien and struggled with feeling 'normal' and longed to fit in.  After the fact, I'd often brainstorm what my answer should've been. White + Yellow = buttercream, chickadee yellow, pastel yellow?

"The things that made you weird as a kid, make you great today" - James Victore

When it comes to my professional life, I've often struggled with the same question. Am I an "Analyst" who just so happens to love design? Am I a "Designer" who is also a secrete mathlete because I loved solving geometry proofs? Should I just become a jack-of-all-trades "Project Manager" since that seems to be the catch-all for all jobs in life?

Looking back, I was into hand drawing fonts and lettering from a kit we purchased from Scholastic book club in elementary school, long before it became a hipster thing to do. My high school homework assignments were often created using Corel Draw or Printmaster Desktop Publishing software, and I created mind-maps when I was studying that were colour coded with icons to help me learn my marketing theory back at Simon Fraser University. 

I am a human being, a citizen of the world, and a Data Humaniser and would love to help your organization connect metrics with your mission to make a measurable impact on people + planet + profits.

Sincerely,

Angie Eriko Fleming a.k.a. Mufaro