Lulu Pinney

MA, HND, BA (Hons)

Department of Sociological Studies

PhD Student

Full contact details

Lulu Pinney
Department of Sociological Studies
  • MA, Social Research, University of Sheffield, 2016-17
  • HND, Graphic Design, Sheffield College, 2000-02
  • BA Hons, Natural Sciences (Materials Science and Metallurgy), University of Cambridge, 1993-96
Research interests
  • Everyday engagements with data visualisation
  • Literacy in the 21st century
  • The relationship between academic research and professional practice

Thesis: "Acquiring data visualisation literacy"

I am researching the skills needed to make sense of data, charts and graphs, one factor that impacts who gets to participate in our data-driven society.

Through action research with community organisations and an ethnography of their data visualisation practice I aim to better understand what these skills are and how they are acquired within the everyday reality of their workplaces.

Research group


  • Professor Helen Kennedy (University of Sheffield)
  • Dr Alex Hall (University of York)
Professional activities

I have been designing data visualisations and infographics, in professional practice, for over ten years. For the last five years I have also been running introductory training for those new to the discipline.

However, throughout, I have often wondered what people on the receiving end of data visualisations and infographics actually make of them.

This has led to a specific interest in working with people who are increasingly required to engage with data, and its visualisation, in everyday life, but find they have little relevant expertise to build on.

The opportunity to research answers to these questions has emerged from the Seeing Data project.

My research is one of three PhDs, together forming an ESRC White Rose DTC network, all of which are concerned with how people relate to data through its visualisation, and build on the original Seeing Data research.


  • ESRC White Rose DTC 1+3 Network Scholarship, 2016