Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Data representation as a nudge

In line with the "nudge" thesis, I am a strong believer in the use of innovative data representation techniques as decision support tools for officials at various levels. Apart from their functional utility (for example, a 'GIS map' gives the impersonal numbers a more easily identifiable geographic identity, and a 'heat map' is much more effective in illustrating the intensity of the activity being studied), they also have a pronounced cognitive impact on its audience.

The newest version of such maps comes in the form of this superb representation of various types of crimes in San Francisco in 2009 as laid out on the city map.



The height of the peaks in the graphic is a measure of the intensity of the particular type of crime in that area. This most easily identifiable and ready-to-use data representation can help channelize focus (especially in those at the cutting-edge level) on activities that can prevent these crimes. Imagine the cognitive impact of similar data representation that highlights the tenth class performance or learning outcomes in their respective areas among school supervisors. Statistics combined with maps is a very powerful nudge!

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great one. The presentation does nudge one towards yaking note of an issue. Any nudges for taking action. Probably every desired action wd need a great deal of effort for designning nudges, especially for routine govt work, which is not of immediate earth-shaking experience, but needed for shaking at a later stage.

Anonymous said...

You also know where to find what in a city.

Vamsi M Maganti said...

Sire,

Statistics + Maps = Visual Feast. Agreed. Locally - No lack of geniuses to generate such trendsetters, but for the push they need in our society. Hope some day it happens. One top hierarchial man like your goodself will and have to initiate a revo & make the colleagues follow! Not that you are not doing it..but just my 2 cents..No intention of being rude...

Warm Regards
Vamsi M Maganti
www.maganti.org

nikita said...

Sir, this is Nikita Rana from ET Now and I would like to get in touch with you. It's for a story I am working on. Could you please send me an email (nikitarana@gmail.com)so that I may reply with my questions.

Anonymous said...

If one could generate same maps, one for corruption and one for govt. employees work accomplishments. Probably one is too high mountains and the other one is as flat as a foot ball ground :)