As a run-up to the Do-Din event in Hyderabad, geohackers.in is co-hosting an event called DataLore about putting data to good use, and how statistics and visualisations sometimes twist data to tell lies, this Wednesday, November 20th at 7 High Street Cooke Town, Bangalore.
People who want to make the world a better place look towards data in an effort to make that change. This very data then needs to be channeled into maps, statistics, and visualizations before it can be useful — and people are doing this everywhere. Stories of politics, corruption, oppression, and war are being told around the world using such tools. Unfortunately, a lot of what is being made fails at its task. Maps that miss the point, visualizations that fail to engage, and statistics that mislead, all undermine action. On Wednesday evening, as a run-up to Do-Din, DataLore will attack this problem on two fronts:
You can’t just throw a map at a problem
When all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail. There are maps being made for every reason but some of them lack the point, they misrepresent information, they lie or they fail to engage the audience. We would like to discuss how people come up with these maps, what disasters they cause and how, as storytellers, we can improve the situation.
Nothing is what it seems — especially not statistics
As they say, there’s lies, damned lies, and then there’s statistics. It’s easy to mislead or be misled by statistics and visualizations. Preconceptions and agendas can leak into them, and colour them with bias. Sometimes, a lack of knowledge about statistics leads to false conclusions, which is rather disastrous. We’ll use some examples to show you how this can happen, and how to both interpret and represent data properly.