An(other Attempt at an) Intro to Data Journalism…

Tony Hirst, Brandon Hall Researcher, Feb 20, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I like this presentation a lot. Science, management and journalism are typically represented as taking an objective stance on objective data. But the data are rarely objective, and as this presentation makes clear, the stance can depend a lot on your point of view. Good science (and management, and journalism) means being able to take a variety of points of view (Hirst talks about 'sensemaking' and 'telling stories' but I think this is loose vocabulary for describing contextualization and perspective). Seen from one angle, a set of points may represent a straight line; from another angle, they may be a curve. The real strength (and meat of the presentation) comes when Hirst describes how we can ask questions and how we can interpret answers: looking for outliers, similarities and differences, trends, patterns and structure.

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