A new kind of resource

Dec 3, 2012

Jer Thorp talks ethics in the data-as-new-oil metaphor:

[W]e need to change the way that we collectively think about data, so that it is not a new oil, but instead a new kind of resource entirely. For this to occur we need to foster a deep understanding of data in society. As it happens, humanity has a mechanism for this kind of broad cultural change: the arts. As we proceed towards profit and progress with data, let us encourage artists, novelists, performers and poets to take an active role in the conversation. In doing so we may avoid some of the mistakes that we made with the old oil.

See also: Jer’s talk on the human side of data.

Favorites

Real Chart Rules to Follow

There are rules—usually for specific chart types meant to be read in a specific way—that you shouldn’t break. When they are, everyone loses. This is that small handful.

Graphical perception – learn the fundamentals first

Before you dive into the advanced stuff – like just about everything in your life – you have to learn the fundamentals before you know when you can break the rules.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.