Data Visualization Designer

Rural Innovation Strategies Inc.

Location: Hartland

Type: Full Time

Education: No Ed Requirements

Experience: 3 - 5 Years

Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc (RISI) is a social enterprise working to advance inclusive economic opportunity and investment in small towns across the country. We are seeking a Data Visualization Designer who is looking to join a fast-growing team committed to shifting the narrative about what’s economically possible in rural America.

Guided by a strong belief in rural ingenuity and small-town potential, RISI and its sister organization, the Center on Rural Innovation (CORI), provide strategic support to rural communities wanting to develop inclusive, resilient digital economies. Our comprehensive systems approach to digital economy ecosystems involves building a nationwide network of local economic change agents; using mapping and data to highlight rural opportunities; making direct investment in underserved rural entrepreneurs; and closing the digital divide so all Americans can participate in the 21st century digital economy.

Since the organization’s founding in 2017, mapping and data have been key tools to identify and drive attention to opportunities across rural America. We are now looking for a Data Visualization Designer to join our talented Mapping and Data Analytics team, and to help us continue to tell compelling rural stories through maps and visualizations. Telling the story of the diversity comprising rural communities is critical to this work, and visualizations are among the assets we rely on to do so.

Using data to tell engaging, accessible, and compelling stories requires several core competencies. This includes the ability to aggregate, clean, filter, and analyze disparate data. It includes the ability to creatively translate that data into different visualizations, whether it be interactive maps or graphics. This role sits at the intersection of analytics, design, and business, so it also requires an understanding of our mission and work, ensuring that visualizations help advance the goals of our organization and the communities we serve. We are looking for someone who can both analyze data and drive understanding of it for different audiences, such as corporate executives or local community leaders, as well as internal stakeholders.


  • Design and develop compelling data visualizations via a variety of techniques, including data storytelling, Gestalt principles, and user-centric design
  • Communicate and collaborate with other members of the Mapping and Data Analytics team to identify and visualize diverse data
  • Consult with internal clients on building user stories, including ascertaining the true business need and providing the most value-add product and services that meet the organization’s objectives
  • Create simple prototypes that convey preferred states, motion, and behaviors for interactive concepts
  • Present design concepts and articulate a vision to stakeholders on a case-by-case basis with support from senior team members
  • Translate ideas into sketches, wireframes, mockups, and interactive prototypes
  • Design visual content for various storytelling mediums, including social media, presentations, blog posts, infographics, scrollytelling articles, proposals, mockups, analytic reports, toolkits, and others
  • Work with our communications and development stakeholders to develop a cohesive visual design style that builds on our current branded content
  • Provide thought leadership, best practices, and standards required to deliver effective and sustainable visualization and interactive solutions to clients and internal stakeholders



  • Proven ability to build high fidelity visualizations that leverage data for maximum impact and curb appeal
  • Demonstrable graphic design skills with a strong portfolio
  • A strong ability to interpret data and demonstrated success delivering robust and innovative reporting solutions to end-users
  • Ability to create data visualizations based on reporting and research; feels comfortable developing data-driven stories and graphics
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary environment, engaging and communicating with internal colleagues (e.g., engineers and communications professionals) and external stakeholders (e.g., community leaders, elected officials, executives, and philanthropists)
  • Ability to design responsively across mobile, tablet, and desktop platforms
  • Fluency in basic animation to create interactive visuals
  • A background in data journalism
  • An understanding of front-end web and mobile development, including HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, version control, and other related technologies
  • Some fluency in the full Adobe Creative Suite, Sketch, Powerpoint, Keynote, and Google Slides
  • Exceptional analytical, conceptual, and problem-solving abilities
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Intelligence and curiosity, learns quickly and immediately applies new insights, learning, etc.
  • Strong interest in continuous learning, information design, and technology
  • Extremely reliable
  • Honest, willing to own up to mistakes, and be open about challenges immediately


  • Strong understanding of visualization best practices from leaders such as Stephen Few or Edward Tufte
  • Strong skills in typography, grid-based design, white space, and color theory
  • Some experience with data visualization tools such as D3.js, Datawrapper, Chart.js, BI tools like Tableau, Power BI, Python Dash, R Shiny, Leaflet, Carto,, and Plotly
  • Experience working with and developing visualizations for and representative of diverse populations, specifically connecting women, BIPOC, and Latinx workers in tech employment

Essential job functions and requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.


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