Data Deities 01 – Nadieh Bremer

Data Deities is a segment on GirlvsData where I take a moment to have a bit of a ramble about people I find inspiring in the Data Science industry.



Today’s ‘Data Deity’ is Amsterdam-based Nadieh Bremer, the visualization designer and artist behind Visual Cinnamon and one half of the artistic visualization duo Data Sketch|es.

Nadieh started out her academic career as an Astronomer, then moved on to Deloitte as an analytics consultant, before landing at Adyen as a full time data visualisation designer. After a year at Adyen, Nadieh broke out into freelancing as a data visualization designer, and now you can find her completing her freelance projects and delivering talks with titles like ‘Storytelling with Data’ and ‘Hacking the Visual Norm’ all over the world!

Why I find her inspiring:

  • Every time Nadieh creates a visualization she puts her own creative flair onto it; she makes it her own. She doesn’t let the tools shape her work, she shapes the tools to work for her.
  • She’s really built a name for herself in the industry, she came from working as a consultant at Deloitte to a full time data visualization designer at Adyen, and is now working completely freelance, working with her own amazing data visualizations and delivering talks all around the world.
  • She’s completely relatable because, just like me, she’s a massive nerd – she has visualizations on Lord of the Rings, Dragonball Z and Fantasy Books.
  • When she moved to Adyen from working at Deloitte – Nadieh was offered the position of a Data Analyst at Adyen, but she turned it down and asked if they had any room for a full time Data Visualisation Designer and she got the job! She’s not afraid to take risks to further her career and work with what she is passionate about.

You can follow her career or get in contact via her blog Visual Cinnamon, on her Linkedin ‘nbremer’ or her Twitter handle is NadiehBremer.


2 thoughts on “Data Deities 01 – Nadieh Bremer

  1. data visualisation *is* awesome– not just as a more meaningful way to look at big sets of numbers (and their relationship to the real world) but for teaching, for learning and for exploring code. as far as i know, no one has used a 3d game environment for data visualisation yet, but its only a matter of time.

    on the guy side of this code spectrum (and i really dont think coding is gendered, but anyway) we spend too much time worshiping the people who inspire us– i will get back to that. everything i do is inspired by basic, and basic owes pretty much everything to grace hopper. the debt is not just technological but philosophical– hopper made code into WORDS. every time you see an alphanumeric command, grace hopper is there. and she had to believe in doing code that way, even when they said it wouldnt work. so we (coders that is) should definitely tell her story.

    the problem we have with genius worship isnt the recognition, thats fine and can provide useful lessons and inspiration. the problem that exists is putting too much weight on things “leaders” and “heroes” say or think, and putting them too far up, so their achievements slowly become unattainable to most people. you should be inspired by heroes, so long as you know that **you can do things like that too.** if you lose track of that, like so many people do– the problem isnt just that you wont believe in yourself.

    the problem (for community) is that most people are treated like nothings, with insignificant opinions and ideas. its not leaders vs. pawns, its established heroes vs. heroes in incubation. so many ego problems come out of misrepresenting that relationship. have your heroes, just dont put them up too high. everyone cries, everyone poops– our heroes are only people, they arent a separate class– and im sure that quite a number of these idols of ours would agree.

    i dont think youre making an idol of them, i only think that its common for people to do so. we dont need to be uninspired, but maybe we should re-think our concept of being inspired, a little. i was very happy to read your article and learn about someone who is excited about data visualisation– you bring the subject to life, and thats a valuable gift if you intend to teach. visualisation enhances data– it makes it far less boring, it highlights relationships better, it shows us things we could otherwise miss. in this, data visualisation itself is like a teacher. youre doing great with this blog, by the way.


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