We help you use data to think.

As the world grows ever more complex, we need better ways to understand data, to communicate insights, and to collaborate on code. Let’s turn data into insight, together. Observable is a magic notebook for exploring data and thinking with code.

Our story

The web is the most powerful medium for communication, ever. Live, distributed, and ubiquitous, anyone can run code with a click. It’s time for a web-first, thoughtfully collaborative, computational notebook.

We believe “thinking with data” is an essential skill for individuals and teams within any data-driven organization. It can’t be relegated to a specialized role. To make better decisions, everyone needs to participate.

What if we could all could think better, together? We’ve seen how open source has transformed software: code sharing, free collaboration, and transparent design are now the norm. Observable reimagines data science for this modern, connected world, making it more approachable, accessible, and social. Heck, maybe even friendly.

  • 2011
    First release of D3.js, an open-source data visualization tool
  • 2016
    Observable founded and development begins
  • 2017
    Preview at OpenVis Conf;
    first hires
  • 2018
    Public launch;
    first 50,000 notebooks
  • 2019
    Observable expands with Series A led by Sequoia

Our values

Teaching

We value written communication, interactivity, and illustration as teaching tools. Learning and teaching reinforce one another and are most effective in a friendly community where everyone is empowered to both read and contribute.

Empathy

We listen to the wants and needs of notebook authors. We put ourselves in your shoes by using Observable every day (to build Observable). We try to share in the same joys and frustrations, and remember to focus on human needs first.

Creativity

We believe in enabling creative expression and empowering people to realize their own solutions. We want to help develop fresh perspectives through tinkering and sharing examples and exploring new visual forms.

Leadership

Mike Bostock

Mike Bostock

CTO / Founder

Mike created D3.js, an open-source library for data visualization that became one of the most popular projects on GitHub. He wrote his first visualization library for Netscape in 1998. Before Observable, he was a graphics editor for The New York Times.

Melody Meckfessel

Melody Meckfessel

CEO / Founder

Melody is a hands-on leader with more than 20 years in engineering at both startups and enterprises. Melody is passionate about helping developers succeed and making software development fast, scalable and fun. Before Observable, she was a VP of Engineering at Google leading Developer and Operator Systems.

Our Team

Observable is based in San Francisco. The team includes open-source and visualization experts with past experience from Google, Square, Mapbox, and The New York Times.

You may already know our work from projects such as D3.js, Simple Statistics, Backbone.js, and CoffeeScript. We want to share our love of quality software by making programming techniques easier to learn, by making visualizations easier to sketch, by making the analysis of running code easier to understand, and by helping developers help each other.

Jobs

We are looking for talented teammates who are compassionate advocates for developers and data scientists and have the audacity to tackle some of software’s greatest challenges.

Observable is built on open source, including React, Node.js, and PostgreSQL, as well as a number of our own open source libraries. We care deeply about user-centered design, from programming language and syntax design, to API construction, to the graphical user interface, to the final pass of visual polish.

We are hiring for the following positions in our SoMa, San Francisco office: