Let the Data Set Change your Mindset

May 24, 2011

At a TED conference last year, journalist David McCandless gave a great talk on the power of data visualition. His basic thesis is that proper data visualisation helps us see the patterns and connections that matter in the data, and that designing it well is essential if you want it to make sense, tell a story, and make it easier to eek out the important information.

He presented some lovely examples, my favourite of which was called ‘Mountains out of Molehills’, which showed the relative size of the ‘panics’ caused by international media in the face of potentially threatening (or entirely bogus and non-threatening) issues.

Quite apart from making the data sing, he also works with the idea that absolute figures don’t give you the whole picture and that by providing context, we can make the data more true. This is an issue close to our heart at theinfluentials, and so we thought this talk was worth sharing.

Please comment if you have more examples of great data visualisation, we’re always on the lookout!

Claire

 

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