Works Communicating complex scientific data
The Ocean Race

Communicating complex scientific data

Communicating complex scientific data
Client benefit

- Communicate with a wide audience
- Learn how to effectively communicate with data
- Raise awareness about ocean health

Project objective

Helping the marine scientific community to communicate complex data about ocean health to a broad, non-scientific audience.

Project results

The workshop and subsequent report provided suggestions and recommendations for the client on how to obtain visibility, communicate scientific data and raise awareness for ocean health research.

Project background

The Science Programme launched by The Ocean Race in 2017/2018 is a groundbreaking initiative on an international scale. It merges sports and science with the purpose to understand ocean health and global climate. The Ocean Race provides a unique opportunity for data collection from remote and largely inaccessible areas of our oceans. This oceanographic data is invaluable for the scientific world, but it can also help the wider population to understand that our ocean’s health is greatly compromised and that we need to take action before it’s too late. 

The marine science community is constantly trying to improve its ways and means of communicating with the wider public to make sure that its voice is better heard. One of the biggest challenges is to find a way to meaningfully communicate scientific data to a non-scientific audience and  design data based communications in order to raise awareness and make people care about our ocean’s health. 

The participation at the event and the workshop organized by The Visual Agency helped the client to bring together and educate stakeholders on how to use data-visualization to create and support their core narrative and message.

Explore the project

Every three years, The Ocean Race — the longest sailing race in the world — takes place. During this race, the yachts are used to carry out important scientific research activities focused on the health of our oceans and the impact of climate change and human activities such as pollution and overfishing. 

The data generated during the race needs to be externally communicated to a broad audience in order to raise awareness about the ocean health and  the work of The Ocean Race in this space.

The Ocean Race workshop contents

Data-driven scientific communication

As part of  “The Ocean Race Innovation Workshop”, The Visual Agency led its own dedicated workshop on how to design impactful, data-driven communication. The workshop was attended by a cross section of stakeholders with different professional backgrounds, such as scientists, journalists and professional sailors. The diverse competences of the attendees, combined with The Visual Agency’s expertise in information design and data-visualisation, have led to insights that can be used as a guideline for efficient data-led communication of oceanographic data.

The Ocean Race report Meaningful data The Visual Agency

The process

In a plenary session lecture, The Visual Agency’s Creative Director Matteo Bonera gave examples of how to make data meaningful, relevant and concrete in order to create the best, most engaging and insightful communication tool possible. His intervention set the stage for the following workshops and breakout sessions.

The Visual Agency exercise for the Ocean race workshop

Workshop: Ocean & Science - How to Communicate Ocean Science with Data

The workshop was based on interactive exercises and guided discussions, with a workshop leader and supporting staff. The aim was to define the different elements of the communication process for a specific example of dataset and find recommendations on how to approach oceanography complexity, so that  data could be translated into meaningful stories and impactful communications for a diverse, non-scientific audience.

Ocean & Climate report The Visual Agency

The report

The participation of diverse personalities significantly contributed to produce some essential insights. The Visual Agency  applied these insights to a real-life example to show that data visualization and information design can be fantastic tools for creating communication products, as they facilitate the communication and understanding of complex scientific topics, increase user engagement and foster an active response through the user experience and narrative they create. 

The results, recommendations and insights were collected in a report that was compiled by the Ocean Race to give guidance and share  knowledge with their various stakeholders. 

Ocean & Climate report The Visual Agency

Other projects

Are you looking for something similar?

Contact us


Animated data-driven videos to raise awareness about air quality. Tap into the power of video automation.

Discover Nimbo