In the previous session they asked for reactions to the recaps of the various sessions. I had one violent one.
In giving an overview of the data capsule, Emmanuel Letouzé suggested that each group had at least one data scientist. And he more broadly suggested that in order to make such visualisations we needed have a data 'scientist' with a PhD in the room. This simply is not accurate.
I've spent much of the last two years arguing that, while there has been a big leap in technology that allows us to gather data -- giving rise to a discussion of big data -- much less discussed is the evolution in technologies that support data visualisation.
Of course creating effective visuals requires a broad skill set: usually a mix of data literacy, technical skills, communication and synthesis skills and design skills. But recognising this is not to say we should be scared of some 'coding bogeyman'.
Quite simply, we're no longer in an era where one needs deep programming skills to bring data to life. We're no longer in a position where we need a masters degree in design to make information beautiful.
As part of the On Think Tanks Data Visualisation Competition we've been compiling and reviewing some of the free and low-cost tools that exist to support data visualisation. See our resources section.
We've also put together 'how to' blogs and videos to support use of some of these tools.
We were asked what action we would do based on this gathering. My commitment is to continue to collate and review these tools, to continue demonstrating how to use them through how tos and to generally support capacity strengthening for data visualisation.
To summarise, the worst thing we can do is to leave this gathering feeling less empowered to visualise and interpret data. No tool is perfect, but they are out there. There are also a number of capacity strengthening initiatives out there too. So don't be afraid of the coding bogeyman -- it doesn't exists anymore.
Go play and explore the worst thing that can happen is that you'll learn a new skill.