DVS Mentor Spotlight: Lior Lavi

The Data Visualization Society’s Mentorship Program has been instrumental in shaping the paths of aspiring individuals in our community. The mentors who make up this program share their guidance and wisdom, dedicating themselves to fostering growth, learning, and inspiration.

Today we’re highlighting Lior Lavi, a senior data analyst at Dynatrace. To get to know him better, we asked him a series of questions so you can learn a bit more about a mentor making a difference.

What is one piece of advice you would share with your early-career self?
If I could go back, I’d tell myself: “Don’t just get caught up in the numbers game. Learn to tell a good story with your data.” When I started out, I was all about getting really good at the technical stuff, like SQL and making sure I could use data visualization tools like a pro. And sure, those skills are super important, but what really makes a difference is being able to take those numbers and make them tell a story that everyone in the room can get.

I’d practice sharing my findings more, getting feedback, and watching how the seasoned pros do it. Realizing earlier that being good with data isn’t just about crunching numbers but making those numbers work to make decisions would’ve been a game changer.

If you could be any type of chart, what would you be?
I would choose the scatter plot chart. In the data world, it means you like to spot patterns and figure out if two things are connected. Scatter plots are awesome for seeing if, as one thing changes, the other does too. They’re like the detectives of the chart world, always looking for clues in the data.

In data work, choosing a scatter plot means you’re into exploring and discovering. It’s not just about showing data; it’s about exploring it to find insights, like finding hidden treasures in a sea of numbers.

What is a mistake you made in your career?
I learned the hard way that no matter how sophisticated your analysis or how accurate your models are, the value is lost if the people who need to use your insights don’t fully understand the context. This experience taught me to not only focus on the numbers but also on how I present and communicate those numbers. Ensuring that stakeholders have a clear understanding of what the data shows, what it doesn’t show, and the assumptions made along the way is crucial.

What was your first job?
In my first job at Intel, I was thrown into the deep end of tech support, where I first got my hands on an ETL tool called Informatica. It was like a key that unlocked the door to a world I didn’t even know existed—a world where data could be transformed, cleaned, and moved around to make sense of the chaos.

Join the DVS Mentorship Program as a mentor to guide aspiring data visualizers.

Nightingale Editors

Our Nightingale editorial team currently consists of Alejandra Arevalo, William Careri, Jason Forrest, Elijah Meeks, and Teo Popescu. Reach us at Nightingale(at)Datavisualizationsociety.org