Last week, I presented at the European Data Literacy Conference in France. The conference aims to unlock data culture and make it accessible to non-specialists. I felt honoured and excited to be there. (Because working to make data culture accessible is a big part of what we do here at Datassist.)
The days were devoted to innovations aimed at helping organizations — both corporate and social sector — understand and make use of data outside of their IT departments. I met many interesting and intelligent people, eager to leverage the power of data. I could go on at some length about my experiences at the conference, but I’m more excited about sharing some new resources with you.
Without further ado, here are three exciting new tools from this year’s European Data Literacy Conference.
Playing with Data Viz
“Leave behind the old digital technology. Explore new and simple ways to represent information and make any kind of graphics quickly.”
Jose Duarte of Handmade Visuals introduced the idea that good data visualization doesn’t have to be dependent on complex computer software. He shared his handmade data viz toolkit with us — it’s a completely spreadsheet-free set of tools to get you started building your own visualizations. Can’t picture it? Check out this project — a non-computerized visualization Jose has developed on internet access around the globe.
Playing with Your Food
Data Cuisine, another project I loved at the European Data Literacy Conference, is a project that (literally) tastes as good as it sounds.
“Have you ever tried to imagine how a fish soup tastes whose recipe is based on publicly available local fishing data? Or what a pizza would be like if it was based on Helsinki’s population mix?”
This project uses food as a medium for data expression. It’s designed to help non-technical people manipulate and understand local data using local foods. The hands-on nature of this innovation has been a runaway success. It offers inspiration for any organization looking for new ways to make data relatable and accessible.
Playing with Government Budgets
The final resource I’d like to highlight from the European Data Literacy Conference is a French project called Budget Citoyen (or Citizen Budget in English).
Have you ever shaken your head at the way local officials waste your tax dollars, certain you could do better? This tool lets municipal governments give their residents a chance to try balancing the local budget themselves. Citizen Budget utilizes open data together with a simple, clean interface. It lets regular citizens manipulate local government budgets to test different scenarios.
The tool is already used by a number of cities and school districts across Canada and the US, who credit it with improving transparency and communication between officials and residents.
Want Help with Your Data?
You don’t have to go all the way to Paris to get expert support for your organization’s data initiative. The team at Datassist is here to help every step of the way. If you need help with data collection, analysis, or visualization, get in touch with us now.