Data Visualization for the Public Sector

Data Visualization for the Public Sector

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Based on the talk I delivered at Pew’s Voting Information Technology Summit, a quick diagnostic to give yourself if you are in the public sector (or any sector for that matter) as you head into 2011:

1. ‘Users make credibility-based decisions based on how something looks.’ -Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab

Ask yourself: is what we produce as an organization visually engaging? Do we have more words than graphics? When was the last time we refreshed our approach to graphics? If we were a consumer brand, would people “buy” into our marketing and our product based on the “wrappers” we use?

2. As data becomes more abundant, ‘the trick is not to make more noise, but to sound different.’ -Joe Chernov, Director of Content, Eloqua

Ask yourself: Is what we produce something that blends in or stands out? Is it just “more of the same” or have we been able to produce something that is really distinctive? Think about using handwriting, cartoonists, illustrators, sketchnote takers, architects and tattoo artists to help you interpret your data.

3. ‘The new frontier for organizations is not only cloud-based collaboration, but also social document sharing. Putting your content on SlideShare enables cross-platform distribution while providing a force multiplier effect from the community.’ -Leslie Bradshaw, President / COO / co-founder, JESS3

Ask yourself: Are we using tools like Basecamp, Google Docs, Drop Box and Instant Message to share files and collaborate, or are we tethered to email and our internal servers? Further, are we allowing people to download, share, comment on, embed and Google our materials, or are they behind firewalls or in “Download Here” PDF format on our websites alone?

Also: Many thanks to the following doers and thinkers for including JESS3, the I Voted foursquare project and data visualization in the dialog at the Pew Elections Initiative / Voting Information Technology Summit in Austin:

Mindy Finn, Engage & Voting Information Project

Jordan Raynor, Direct Media Strategies & Voting Information Project

Matthew Morse, Pew Center on the States & Voting Information Project

Rosalinda Ortega, Pew Center on the States

Elyse Berkowitz, Pew Center on the States

Anthea Watson, Voting Information Project & New Organizing Institute

Becca Colbaugh, Executive Producer at JESS3 (my co-pilot in just about everything)

Written by: Leslie Bradshaw | President & COO, JESS3

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