data visualization engineer human-centered designer data storyteller community organizer data educator



I am passionate about creating beautiful and interactive visualizations that tell stories in a clear and easy to understand way, even in the face of complicated subject matter and complex data.

I do not restrict myself to "out-of-the-box" standard visualizations, but rather focus on custom visualizations to best address the needs of each project.

Each visualization project begins with a brainstorm to think through many possible ways in which the project could be approached to zero in on the best way to tell your story.

I use a human-centered design process approach in designing visualizations, finding it invaluable to iterate on concepts with clients and/or users throughout the project. This helps us to identify the best way to address specific needs and bring the best version of the visualization to life.

I am additionally available for on-site d3.js corporate trainings that will give your employees the building blocks necessary to create d3.js data visualiations of their own!

Who I've Worked With

New Yorker ACLU Northwestern Metis Common Sensing BigR

“Mollie has been an essential partner to the ACLU of Illinois in analyzing the bias we see in policing in our state. She has uncovered valuable insights within the data to illustrate the racial disparities in policing and is helping to influence public policy for the better.”

- Max Bever, ACLU-IL

My Recent Talks

Chi Hack Night: Racial Disparities in Illinois Traffic Stops

Rachel Murphy (ACLU) walks you through the history of the law that requires the traffic stops data collection in Illinois. Mollie and Chris then dive into the evolution of the Illinois Traffic Stops project, touching on data analysis, data visualization design, and decisions made along the way on how to best communicate the results. Ends with fifteen minutes of Q&A.

Tapestry 2018 PechaKucha: A Visual Walkthrough of Illinois Traffic Stops Analysis

A very consolidated, sped-up, ~seven-minute version of the Traffic Stops talk during the PechaKucha talks at Tapestry Conference, 2018.

DSS LA | A Data Science Love Poem

I was tasked with creating a data science themed poem for Data Science Salon LA. Here is the awkward result!

CHI|17 Domino Data Science Pop Up

Since 2004, Illinois has collected demographic information about traffic stops conducted by police in an effort to identify racial bias. We have applied exploratory data analysis to investigate whether systemic racial disparities exist and to what extent. This talk walks the audience through the insights gleaned from the exploration of this data along with the challenges posed and ongoing questions raised.

PLOTCON 2016: Mollie Pettit & Jess Freane, Get Your Point Across

Why does one decide to visualize data? And once they have decided to visualize their data, how do they know the best way to tell their story? To answer these questions, this talk focuss on the iterative design process, visualization fundamentals, and storytelling techniques. These principles are anchored in effective visualization examples.


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