You Can See in Numbers

‘We are extremely sad to announce that Professor Hans Rosling died this morning. Hans suffered from a pancreatic cancer which was diagnosed one year ago. He passed away early Tuesday morning, February 7, 2017, surrounded by his family in Uppsala, Sweden.’ Anna R. Rönnlund & Ola Rosling, Co-founders of Gapminder. He died aged 68.

Hans Rosling, Geneva, 2009-10-30

In 2009, the Swiss Statistics’ Meeting took place in Geneva, Switzerland. Hans Rosling was there and his talk’s topic: ‘Unveiling the beauty of statistics’. He wanted data to be free, free from legal and technical barriers. His ambition – and his success – was to disseminate these data beautifully … in order to change the world.

A difficult task. In an interview in the Guardian, in 2013: “It’s that I became so famous with so little impact on knowledge,” he says, when asked what’s surprised him most about the reaction he’s received. “Fame is easy to acquire, impact is much more difficult. …. He’s similarly nonplussed about being a data guru. “I don’t like it. My interest is not data, it’s the world. And part of world development you can see in numbers.”  (Taken from the Guardian interview 2013).

And that’s why statistics and the world need more people like Hans Rosling – more than ever!

Blog about Stats 2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 14,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

It’s high time to demystify

Data, Big Data, Data Scientist, Data Mining …. Statistics. And next: Linked Open Data?

Look at this semantically rich clearing process by Diego Kuonen. It’s worth while!



See also:

Envy the Data Visualisation Centre? Not any more.

If you follow the ONS Data Visualisation Centre you will be amazed by the fireworks of interactive graphics that they regularly produce. At least I am. Here are just a few recent examples that caught my eye.

Image Image Image

Now who wouldn’t want to install a similar group in their organisation. Apart from the management task at hand (including fighting against or around an established CMS in most cases) people often ask where and how they can get their staff and colleagues up to speed with all the current technology, what are the tools, how do they work and what media partners could be interested in possible collaboration or syndication.

Luckily there are conferences for that and in 2014 the Office for National Statistics (ONS) will be hosting such an event in England that will answer most of those questions. It is the well known Graphical Web Conference and takes place in this top notch venue in Winchester from August 27–30th, 2014. The theme will be “visual storytelling”.


The Graphical Web focus is on open web technologies such as SVG, CSS, Canvas, WebGL and the respective JavaScript libraries that make dealing with these graphic formats a lot easier. Front and center being D3 the data driven documents library that has become a de-facto standard in the data-visualisation world.

Have a look at the conference website and follow @TheGraphicalWeb on Twitter for the latest updates.

Exoplanet Statistics

There are very special statistics where the survey instrument is a telescope and the data are far from our world.


There’s a fascinating animated visualisation of this survey –  and an award winning one: WORLDS. The Kepler Planet Candidates.


CinéGlobe yesterday (19th October 2013) awarded the Data Visualization Prize at the Imagine Science Film Festival to the film “Worlds, The Kepler Planet Candidates”, a simple yet stunning depiction of the Kepler search for earth-like planets orbiting other stars. Director Alex Parker creates a subtle visual narrative that leads the viewer to the gradual realization that our earth may be very far from the only living planet in our universe.’

Exoplanets, Kepler’s Candidates?

At first I didn’t understand what’s behind this visualisation:

‘This animation shows the 2299 high-quality (multiple transits), non-circumbinary transiting planet candidates found by NASA’s Kepler mission so far. These candidates were detected around 1770 unique stars, but are animated in orbit around a single star. They are drawn to scale with accurate radii (in r / r* ), orbital periods, and orbital distances (in d / r*). They range in size from 1/3 to 84 times the radius of Earth. Colors represent an estimate of equilibrium temperature, ranging from 4,586 C at the hottest to -110 C at the coldest – red indicates warmest, and blue / indigo indicates coldest candidates.’ (From CinéGlobe)

But this video made it clear:


All Candidates (till now)

And these are all the detected stars (huge ones!) with planets in their orbits. Much more on NASA’s Kepler Homepage

This is a graphic of 2,740 candidate planets in transit. The planets are small black disks against the bright disk of each star.


Who knows?

Perhaps out there on one of these planets live statisticians. And they are about to visualise how many planets have statisticians visualising data … .

IMAODBC 2013: And the winner is …

The Best-Presentation Award of the International Marketing and Output Database Conference IMAODBC 2013 in Neuchâtel/Switzerland goes to Ilka Willand from the  German Federal Statistical Office destatis.

Ilka presented the reputation analysis 2013 of destatis which aims at getting information about  target groups for statistical information – also the ones not reached (yet).

Target Groups

There’s a new target group approach:

2013-09-28_Willand-targetgroupsFirst results (more to come later)

First results of the not yet finished survey show how these groups search statistical information and how they want to access this information (green: preferred behaviour, red: not preferred behaviour).
Interesting: In Germany social media are considered to be for private use only, not for accessing official statistics .. :


2013-09-28_Willand-firstresukts03Here is the full presentation (link)