Community Indicators for Your Community

Real, lasting community change is built around knowing where you are, where you want to be, and whether your efforts are making a difference. Indicators are a necessary ingredient for sustainable change. And the process of selecting community indicators -- who chooses, how they choose, what they choose -- is as important as the data you select.

This is an archive of thoughts I had about indicators and the community indicators movement. Some of the thinking is outdated, and many of the links may have broken over time.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Art and Data Visualizations

Over the last year, we've covered some amazing ways to visualize data on this blog -- click the "data display" tag at the end of this post to refresh your memory, or check out some of the examples here, here, and here. Now I've got a new website to talk about, and I'm quite excited (and awed) by it.

We've mentioned Chris Jordan's work before, in the context of telling stories with very large numbers. How do you connect your audience with the data when the numbers are so big?

Chris shows us how.

Whether it's recreating Seurat's A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte or simply showing us how disposable our society has become, the artwork displays numbers and scales tht both call our attention to the individual (a cigarette, a Barbie doll, a folded prison uniform) and the sheer magnitude of the number of individuals affected.

Please check out the work. Then let's think together about what this means for our community indicator reports and how we communicate statistics in ways that are meaningful.


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