Big news. Former IBMers Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg just announced their new venture Flowing Media (no relation to FlowingData), a consultancy focused on visualization for consumers and mass audiences.
Those who read FD probably already know of the duo, but for those who don't, I'm sure you've seen some of their work. They sit somewhere in between the art/design and technical side of visualization, which always provides for interesting results. I highly recommend them if you're in need of some viz help. Needless to say, I'm a fan.
Seeing a trend?
This comes just a few months after Ben Fry's decision to also venture out on his own (after being with Seed for a year). Like Fernanda and Martin, he's also in Cambridge, interestingly enough. There must be something in the water over there.
If anything, this is yet another indicator of the growing popularity of data, and more importantly, a desire to do something with it. I'm totally guessing here, but I bet Fernanda and Martin's inbox was chock-full of project possibilities/offers, which I'm sure played a big role in their decision.
I don't know about you, but I'm excited about the opportunities out there after I graduate. It's a great time for data scientists.