Dr. Csala Dénes

 

Finding the perfect blend of text and data 🌟 experiences

   from the 

SGPE, Crieff 

11th January 2024

Assistant Professor

University of Bristol
Lancaster University

Data Visualization Expert

Economics Observatory

Questions

Lead Editors

Experts

Core editors

Author draft

Text, Charts

Article

Science communication
Writing classes

Dataviz classes

Joint workshops

ONS

HM Treasury

Cabinet Office

DE, DHSC, ...

Beyond the Observatory
ECO at COP26

Talking Economics

ECO magazine

Data Hub

Science communication
Writing classes

Dataviz classes

Joint workshops

ONS

HM Treasury

Cabinet Office

DE, DHSC, ...

Beyond the Observatory
ECO at COP26

Talking Economics

ECO magazine

Data Hub

Mission

leading example for communicating (difficult) economics concepts
through data, in a way that is

 

beautiful, scalable and impactful 

Challenge

1 article per day

100+ experts across the globe

1 million readers per year

followed by decision makers

6 person core team

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

beautiful / easy to read | scalable | replicable

beautiful / easy to read | scalable | replicable

beautiful / easy to read | scalable | replicable

needs an Editor

source verification / message 💬

no way around manual editing 📝

data availability / tracing 📊

author stubbornness 😅

beautiful / easy to read | scalable | replicable

Challenge

1 article per day

100+ experts across the globe

1 million readers per year

followed by decision makers

6 person core team

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

Viusalize

information overload

visualization → a language for data

use the entire visualization zoo → but

⭐ bar chart is best chart ⭐

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

1 ZB

ZETA-EXA-PETA

TERRA-GIGA-MEGA

Northeastern, 2016

attention

at tension

attention

at tension

Is it snowing
in Budapest?

quarter of a second

Sabine Kastner et al., Princeton, 2018

250 millisec

attention poverty

"What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence, a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it."

Herbert Simon (as quoted by Hal Varian)
Scientific American, 1995

based on the UW CSE442 course and PARC UIR
Portrait of Herbert Simon - Richard Rappaport CC BY 3.0


Mitchell Kapor, freely quoted

information overload

visualisation = understanding

"The ability to take data - to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it - that's going to be a hugely important skill in the next decades, ...because now we really do have essentially free and ubiquitous data."

Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google
The McKinsey Quarterly, 2009

based on UW CSE442
Hal Varian - Joi Ito CC BY 2.0

big data =

big responsibility

Datasaurus, Alberto Cairo, Autodesk, 2016

Bernardo:

Well, good night.
If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

picture superiority effect

Allan Paivio, 1971
based on David McCandless, Information is Beautiful, 2012

sight

touch

hear      smell

taste

encode

decode

data visualisation = signal system

message

based on Jacques Bertin, Sémiologie Graphique, 1967

which rectangle is lighter?

212, 212, 212

+2 %

207, 207, 207

which circle is larger

how many

times?

6

how many times?

sensation=\newline intensity^x

sensation-intensity curve

Stanley Smith Stevens, 1957

electric shock

weight

taste

length

area

smell

volume

intensity ➡

sensation ➡

accuracy of visual attributes

most accurate

most distorting

based on Jock MacKinlay, 1986

position

length

slope

angle

area

volume

saturation

half(mis)information

half(mis)information

half(mis)information

half(mis)information

half(mis)information

A record number of refugees attempted to to enter the country on Friday

half(mis)information

needs a Designer

use the visual language correctly 🧑‍💻

every dataset is unique 📊

curate / distill what's important💻

chart suitability / design 🍰

author ignorance 😅

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

Challenge

1 article per day

100+ experts across the globe

1 million readers per year

followed by decision makers

6 person core team

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

Automate

writing needs → CMS → Wordpress

usually Vega-Lite (actually Altair)

custom charts in D3 → iframe

pipeline in python / Jupyter

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

needs a Engineer

conform to existing systems 🧑‍💻

every dataset is unique 📊

no way around manual charts 💻

but we automate what we can 🤖

designer stubbornnes 😅

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

leading example for communicating (difficult) economics concepts
through data, in a way that is

 

beautiful, scalable and impactful 

Reach & Teach

ECO magazine

courses in Editing and Dataviz

Chart repository

ECO API

Explore → Create → Share

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

data: where we are now

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

data: where we are going

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

a Hub - not a Silo

Original source

Up-to-date

Automatic

Free of CORS errors

Simple URL structure

Free of keys

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

needs an Architect

audience from mayors to students 🎩

spoken / printed word too 📚

latest, but traceable data  🏗️

a hub - not a silo 🪢

data + story 🚀

beautiful / easy to read | scalable /replicable | impactful

data

information

knowledge

Altamira cave painting, i.e. 36 000
Ted Chiang, Eric Heisserer, Martine Bertrand, Stephen & Christopher Wolfram "Louise", in the alien language designed for movie Arrival, 2016 CC A-NC 4.0

Finding the perfect blend of text and data 🌟 experiences

   from the 

Dr. Csala Dénes

 

SGPE, Crieff 

11th January 2024

Assistant Professor

University of Bristol
Lancaster University

Data Visualization Expert

Economics Observatory

Finding the perfect blend of text and data 🌟 experiences from the Economics Observatory

By Dénes Csala

Finding the perfect blend of text and data 🌟 experiences from the Economics Observatory

This talk presents Dénes team's experiences from the Economics Observatory, a collaborative research project in science communication that draws on the expertise of economists from a wide range of universities and research institutions across the UK and globally. It gathers and evaluates the best possible data and evidence on the challenges facing the economy and uses these as the basis for daily articles, visualizations briefings on the ECO website, social media channels, and via public facing events. They find that a blend of data and text is the best way for establishing this interface between experts and the public, rather than chart-heavy or text-only articles.

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