The future of data visualisation

Want to find out more about data-driven narratives? Peiying is here to share some insights about it!

The future of data visualisation

Data-driven storytelling, Asian stories and diversity; put them all together and you will have Kontinentalist. Kontinentalist not only tells diversified Asian stories, but their narratives are data-driven, and packed with visualisations to further engage their readers in ways you cannot imagine!

Meet Peiying, the head and co-founder of Kontinentalist, as she shares with us the backstory of Kontinentalist and how she and her team stays inspired in bringing data stories to life.

1. Tell us a little about yourself!

I’m obsessed with cooking, and recently I’ve been trying a hand at heritage dishes as a means to understand my own culture better. My husband is my greatest supporter, and you can check out his rating of my food at @myhusbandratesmyfood on instagram!

2. What do you like most about your work?

Starting a day at work in Kontinentalist feels like stepping into a realm of endless possibilities. My teammates are super creative, and they blow my socks off everyday with their quality of work. Everyone also greatly respects the work culture, and we keep it candid and casual, and work hard to make it a safe space for all sorts of opinions and ideas.

3. What was the backstory behind the founding of Kontinentalist?

Kontinentalist was founded simply because we wanted to tell stories about Asia, with maps. It’s been a real journey. I majored in History, and spent my early career working in museums. Having to pick up tech skills was a steep learning curve, but the path we’ve taken has been incredibly fulfilling. Since we’ve started, we’ve evolved to clearly be more than just maps, and expanded our storytelling toolset and topics.

4. Share with us how topics of interest are typically selected when crafting articles for Kontientalist!

Kontinentalist has narrowed our areas of interest into three main agendas. We seek to debunk and clarify myths and misconceptions about Asia, celebrate Asia’s diversity and successes, and spotlight issues concerning the future of the continent, such as climate change, infrastructural development, new trends and technologies, and so on.

5. Data-driven storytelling is something that has been up and coming! What advice would you give to someone who wishes to do data visualisation?

My advice would be: don’t hesitate to experiment! None of the members in Kontinentalist started out as experts in data visualisation. We all learned on the job, and a big part of that journey was getting rid of our inhibitions, and boldly experimenting. We make a lot of mistakes along the way, but it’s honestly the best way to learn and understand the principles of data visualisation and data storytelling. You can read all the books, and watch all the tutorials, but nothing is as good as putting it to practice.

6. Kontinentalist recently did a rebranding for the company. Now that you have done it, how has it worked out for you?

Kontinentalist rebranded in July, and honestly it’s only been two months since! It’s still too early to say if the rebrand has been a complete success, but we’re just very proud of the work that has gone into it, and the public can finally see it. We love the new vibes of the company, but more importantly, I think it’s given us a stronger voice and firmer foundation to stand on as we take Kontinentalist to new heights.

7. Kontinentalist has produced many interesting articles, what are your top 3 favourite articles?

Many of my favourite projects are not my own, but of course as head of the company, I had a chance to take part in or witness. I always love a story that surprises, or allows the Kontinentalist team to gather data on our own. Among those are our story on instant noodles, Singapore’s wet markets, and one of our latest stories on heat inequality in Asia.

8. What is one interesting fact about Potato Productions which stands out to you?

I love watching Potato Productions evolve, and try it’s best to be a nurturing environment for all employees. I really appreciate the company starting up an allowance for all staff members to seek mental wellness assistance if they need to, and it’s a no-questions-asked policy. I wish more firms in Singapore were as progressive, and understand that mental wellness is an important aspect of life. If your team is happy, naturally, they will also be the best-performing, and the most productive.

9. If you could come up with an article title about your life story, what would the title be?

Be honest, be authentic, be empathetic.

If you are interested to find out more about Kontinentalist and data visualisation, you can check out their website or even have a chance to chat with Peiying here.