Creativity 50 2011: Nick Felton

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For many people in the ad world and beyond, Nicholas Felton is, if not the father, then certainly the cool uncle of data visualization. Mr. Felton has accumulated a large and devoted fan base courtesy of the Feltron Annual Reports, which turn everyday personal information, such as number of books read and types of meals consumed, into gorgeous data memoirs. He has been creating data portraits from his own life stats since 2005, but for his 2010 Paternal Report, he shifted his perspective. From the images and information left behind, Mr. Felton created a beautiful and richly detailed narrative and a moving tribute to his dad, who passed away in September 2010.

Mr. Felton and partner Ryan Case also made data viz more accessible for civilians with Daytum, a platform for people to track and visualize their own stats. The company recently launched Daytum iPhone and iPad apps, allowing users to track and graph data in a range of new ways.

None of this escaped the notice of personal data titan Facebook, which hired Messrs. Felton and Case in April. He's mum on the details of the work he'll be doing, but Mr. Felton said he's excited about the more mainstream interest in and adoption of data visualization by brands and individuals. As he told Creativity: "The form is young, and the amount of exploration happening at the moment is truly exciting. From the corporate and agency side, I see a broad desire to create marketing materials within this mold. I'm a proponent of these projects when they are in the spirit of transparency and public interest like a company revealing its supply chain. Unfortunately, I receive too many requests to leverage the medium to spice up dull self-promotional materials like how many widgets they sold."

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