Yesterday I posted here David McCandless’ fascinating 18-minute talk on data visualization, in which he puts up charts and graphs as a window into patterns and relationships in numbers.
Watching that talk led me to discover his Information is Beautiful blog, which is a great source of ideas and insights.
For example, the chart shown here, from that blog, titled The Science Behind Wikipedia’s Jimmy Appeal:
That’s just one recent example. Fascinating stuff.
I really like business charts. I think I always have. I’ve been in the business of communicating about numbers for a long time. And here is a master of it. David McCandless, a British journalist, also calls himself “a data detective,” and we see why in his Ted talk shown here, The Beauty Of Data Visualization.
This is spectacular thinking. Watch for his visual patterns of fear, of global spending, even of relationships breaking up.
If for any reason you can’t see this here, you can click here for the source on the TED.com site.
Like it or not, your real priority, my real priority, our society’s real priority shows up not in what we say but in how we spend our resources, including, of course, how we spend our time. Time is the scarcest resource.
Author David McCandless at Information is Beautiful called it Cognitive Surplus Visualized in honor of Clay Shirky’s Ted Talk. I don’t love the phrase “cognitive surplus,” but I do get the point. And this chart speaks for itself. Well done.
When I see those two boxes, I can’t help thinking how huge the effort of Wikipedia; how much is there, information on how many different topics, how many people it took, and how many hours it took. Then I compare it to the big box next to it.
I just couldn’t resist sharing this. It’s called The Hierarchy of Digital Distractions, and it’s brilliant; and even better in full size, so you should click this link or on the picture to see the original. I got it from Ann Handley, @marketingprofs on Twitter. It’s from a site called Information is Beautiful, by David McCandless.
And it certainly depicts, way too accurately, the way digital distractions stack up for me.
(Image: by David McCandless, via Information is Beautiful)