data. lots of it. making it practical.

The organisation I last worked for didn't have much interest in maintaining a robust information system to inform its policies. Since data reliability and security were pretty low on their list of concerns, not only was information fragmented among different advisors (who did not know what the others had), but each one also had different versions, subsets-- or even names!-- for the same dataset. The lack of a proper server meant that these files did not communicate with each other. The dynamic nature of information updating instead was a logistical time suck and coordination nightmare, especially when indicators needed to be reported on. How do you enable your organisational vision when this core technical competency is … [Read more...]

on presentations…

This graphic on the US trade surplus/deficits at Visual Ephiphanies is quite cool. I love how large a amount of data is captured in a single image.It reminded me of the bane of our work here-- ineffective presentations (...of which I'm guilty of occasionally as well!). Speakers' points are buried so deep in useless images, graphics and meandering bullet points that oftentimes at the end victi-- err, participants-- spend the precious little time allotted to questions trying to hash out exactly what the point is rather than actually brainstorming solutions. Imagine our conferences with back-to-back powerpoint presentations and simultaneous translations to French and English...The above statistician is an advocate for effective data … [Read more...]