How to make statistics more accessible

Disseminating statistics to the public is the one side, making statistics accessible the other one. Even if huge databases are actually free and many statistical websites offered to the public there remain many obstacles to get the data to the (right) people.

Issue and agenda setting is one point, metadata another topic in this context. And presentation issues still another.

For the moment let’s concentrate to the latter case. Visualizing is one of the most important strategies for statistics to gain momentum. But that’s not enough: There are countless graphs on the web not being looked at. Maybe there is no (clear) message, maybe that the presentation itself is not attractive enough.

Animating graphs can change this on the presentation side. There are lots of possibilities to do this.

One excellent example of both engaged message and perfect presentation is Hans Rosling with Gapminder/Trendalyzer. Here animated graphs and personal presentation are used together, it is the full monty!

Six minutes has analyzed one of his presentations in detail and gives Six Simple Techniques for Presenting Data:

  1. Explain the data axes
  2. Highlight subsets of data
  3. Dig deeper to unwrap data
  4. Place labels close to data points
  5. Answer the “Why?” questions
  6. Complement data with energetic delivery

Hans Rosling adds number 7. “I may add one aspect, I am lucky to talk about a topic where the actual knowledge is surprisingly low in spite of interest being high, the development of the world.” Some more background about this commitment can be found in H. Rosling’s interview with Discover Magazine.

See the full Six Minutes’ analysis.

Just another analysis to learn from 😉 … : How NOT To Use Powerpoint By Comedian Don McMillan

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