a hand-drawn banner of confetti

Caro Buck: Data Wizard

Hi! I’m Caro, short for Caroline. I’m a curious and creative human, with a passion for data of all sorts. I love wrangling unconventional data or using a visualization to foster understanding and promote data literacy. I’m a pro at building backend data apps, write some mean documentation, and am learning frontend.

I have worked on a wide variety of client projects, from AI-generated graffiti and time series modeling, to advanced analytics and data visualization. I thrive in environments where curiosity, creativity and rabbit holes are encouraged.

In my free time, you’ll find me swimming, sailing, swing dancing, or leading a tour around downtown Boston – come along for a stroll to be inundated with fun facts!

 

Relevant skills & hobbies
  • Wrangle data, build APIs, write documentation, create data visualizations
  • R (advanced), Python (advanced), Javascript (intermediate), SQL (intermediate)
  • Tutor data & math of many flavors (calculus, statistics, algebra, oh my!)
  • Lead tours around downtown Boston (advanced)
  • Swirl around on the dance floor: swing (advanced), salsa (beginner)
  • Whip up a fiber arts project: crochet (advanced), knit (intermediate)

Using data and technology to bring people together

I firmly believe in the beauty of rabbit holes, the necessity of creative problem solving, and the power of data and technology to build community. Data are all around us – and if we allow it, we can use data to learn about ourselves, others, and the world in unexpected and wonderful ways. Good community is essential for human well-being; these pieces demonstrate some of the work I’ve done to create more spaces for flourishing.


A title page slide for talk Caro gave. Has colorful confetti in the corners, with the title 'The Benefit of talking to the non-datas' in the center.

 

The Benefit of Talking to the “Non-Datas”

  • I’m passionate about good data visualization and expanding data literacy. With the rise in AI, how can we expect people to thrive unless we take our data seriously?
  • As a data practitioner, I see it as my responsibility to steward my data skills with enthusiasm, wisdom, and creativity. This talk, given at rstudio::conf(2022), is both a celebration and an awareness piece.
  • Data parties are conversations about data that meet people where they are. The goal of these conversations is to build common ground, ask questions and make space to be curious about our world, together.
  • Skills & tools used: Public speaking, data literacy, community networking, Quarto
  • Video recording & slides


A screenshot of a website, featuring an image of the Boston tea party

 

Froli-Tea Spectacular

  • Parties are a way to bring people together from different backgrounds and groups, and I bring this collaborative energy into all aspects of my life. I love celebrating things big and small, especially when there is a theme involved and a high likelihood for a good group photo.
  • Sure, yes, building a bespoke website is overkill for a party invitation, yet the surprise and delight of going above and beyond what’s merely necessary is worth it.
  • Skills & tools used: Quarto, web development
  • See the invitation


A connected scatterplot that shows all the places Caro visited in 2022.

 

Caro’s 2022 Recap

  • Big tech companies are usually the main benefactors of “big data.” I decided to take back some of the power – by getting personal benefit from big tech’s data collection.
  • Using location data collected via my phone, I tracked and analyzed everywhere I went in 2022. As a homage to the adventures, stories, and people that filled my year, I visualized the data in an unconventional map.
  • Skills & tools used: Data wrangling, visualization, storytelling, R, ggplot2
  • See the recap visualization

Quirky & Unconventional data visualization

Data – big and small – can teach us a lot if we’re willing to pay attention. One way to boost data literacy is to collect, visualize, and share unexpected data. It’s fun to be curious, see what can be learned, and break a few “rules” of data visualization along the way.

The final visualization: a multitude of colorful hand-drawn symbols in a grid

A Week of LOLs

 

data portraits, one for each member of my team. Each portrait is colorful rectangle with abstract shapes/doodles

Data Portraits @ Work

 

Floral inspired visualization with green, red, purple and yellow flowers on a gray background

Mom’s Day

  • A personal data collection project, where I manually tracked every time I laughed in a week.
  • I learned I have several distinct “laugh styles” & I used the data collected to remember small moments of joy in an otherwise challenging week.
  • Visualization is hand-drawn using colored pencils.
  • See the laugh chart

 

  • Inspired by data portraits created by Giorgia Lupi, I surveyed my coworkers and created unique badges for the team.
  • The project built camaraderie in the early days of working remotely due to Covid-19, and inspired other teams at the agency to include data practitioners in more projects.
  • Visualization is hand-drawn using Procreate.
  • See the portraits

 

  • In honor of Mother’s Day, I surveyed my mother’s friends and family to understand how others see and interact with her.
  • Data collected were analyzed and visualized into a floral design to celebrate the unique person my mother is.
  • Visualization is hand-drawn using Procreate.
  • See the flowers

Creative technology, applied to marketing

My current team at Wunderman Thompson, the Global Creative Data Group, isn’t easily squished into a box. By title, my primary job as a data scientist means I wrangle a lot of data, build backend apps, and write documentation. But as an interdisciplinary team, we collaborate often and affectionately call ourselves the “misfit toys.” We are the ones whose job titles don’t exactly describe what we do, but together we are creative technologists, pushing the bounds of what’s typical or expected of any of our individual disciplines.


App logo that says Speaking In Color: Think it, Say it, See it. On top of green and blue background

 

Sherwin-Williams: Speaking in Color


collage editorial style image that includes faces of two women and maps of Iran, overlayed with text that reads: So what will define the future history of Iran?

 

Iran Democracy Council: AIran

  • A history book from the future, written by AI, that tells the dire future of women’s rights in Iran if we don’t do anything today to make a change.
  • Created in partnership with the Iran Democracy Council.
  • Project contributions: Built backend app; researched, wrote, and validated prompts to generate AI book content; web development; data visualization; creative ideation; project scoping
  • Skills & tools used: Python, Flask, JavaScript, OpenAI API, Google tools (Cloud & Analytics)
  • Try out AIran


words

 

Hungerstation: Subconscious Order