Three Questions with… Alejandra Arevalo

Cover image showing photo of Alejandra Arevalo with text saying "Three Questions With..."

The Nightingale team is thrilled to introduce our first interactives editor, Alejandra Arevalo! We’re excited for her to make this role her own and expand what Nightingale has to offer. But enough from us… In true Nightingale fashion, we’ve asked her to introduce herself via Three Questions With.

Alejandra Arevalo is a Peruvian multimedia journalist and engineer based in San Francisco. A self-taught coder, she currently works as a developer at Hearst Newspapers where she focuses on data visualization and interactive storytelling. She previously ran the music data analysis publication How Music Charts at Chartmetric. Her analysis about banknotes around the world with The Pudding was long-listed for the 2022 Information is Beautiful awards. Check out her portfolio and follow her on LinkedIn and X.

1. What is one visualization that has inspired you and why?
Without a doubt, Georgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec’s “Dear Data” project. Before I knew anything about data visualization, I was drawn to infographics and design because of my love for visual arts. While living in New York, I was a regular at the MoMA and in one of my visits, I stumbled upon the hand-drawn postcards exchanged by Lupi and Posavec. I was fascinated by the use of color and shapes to document intricate daily interactions. This project is the perfect example that data can be beautiful and functional at the same time.

2. What’s one topic you would love to visualize but have not yet had the chance to?
I’d love to make data visualizations about Netflix dating shows, and explore everything from what colors contestants wear the most to how much screen time they get. If you’re into pop culture and fashion data as much as I am, check out @popculturedata and @databutmakeitfashion on Instagram. I’m also a huge Formula 1 fan and would love to make data visualizations about it as well. I already kind of got started with this, I published a data-centered article about the influence of Formula 1 on the music industry earlier this year. Looking forward to exploring more F1 and pop culture data soon.

3. If you had to choose an entirely new career path, realistic or not, what would it be?
Being a visual artist. Up until the beginning of my high school senior year, I was sure I would end up in art school. I had already auctioned some of my paintings and got training in all sorts of art forms including sculpture, watercolor and photography. In a very last minute decision, I decided to major in journalism and later found my way to coding and data visualization. The fact that “Dear Data” made it to the MoMA tells me my dream might not be over yet.

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