Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Datablog

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Data journalism has been around as long as there's been data - certainly at least since Florence Nightingale's famous graphics and report into the conditions faced by British soldiers of 1858. The first ever edition of the Guardian's news coverage was dominated by a large (leaked) table listing every school in Manchester, its costs and pupil numbers.

 The big difference? Data was published in books, very expensive books where graphics are referred to as 'figures'. Now we have spreadsheets and files formatted for computers. Which means we can make the computers ask the questions.

But now statistics have become democratised, no longer the preserve of the few but of everyone who has a spreadsheet package on their laptop, desktop or even their mobile and tablet. Anyone can take on a fearsome set of data now and wrangle it into shape.

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If information is power, what happens when everyone has that power?

Health Apocalypse Now

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